EXCLUSIVE: Looking to keep its The Crow screenwriter Cliff Dorfman firmly in the nest, Relativity has signed the scribe to an exclusive first-look deal. This comes after Dorfman scripted a Relativity Crow reboot that goes into production early next year with F. Javier Gutierrez directing and Luke Evans playing the role originated by Brandon lee.
Related: ‘The Crow’ Flies With Luke Evans
Dorfman came to the project after serving as a writer-producer of Entourage and co-scripting the Gavin O’Connor-directed Warrior. Under the new deal, he will bring in projects of his own to write and will work on pre-existing Relativity films. Relativity President Tucker Tooley said the company wants long-term relationships with the right talent, and Dorfman fit that bill. “Cliff did an incredible job on The Crow, and we look forward to having his edgy and evocative writing style on a wide-range of the studio’s projects,” Tooley said. Dorfman is represented by Resolution and Apostle’s George Heller.
The long-gestating reboot of The Crow has been looking more like a phoenix lately, finally securing its lead in May. And that came nearly 16 months after the Weinstein Company’s lawsuit against Relativity Media over rights to the new pic was settled out of court. But now there’s yet another legal action circling the franchise: Jeff Most — a producer on the original 1994 film and its sequels, who had been working on the new one — is suing Ryan Kavanaugh‘s company and fellow producer Edward R. Pressman. The lengthy complaint (read it here) filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges breach of contract and good faith, fraud, deceit and contractual interference. It seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and legal fees. Ross’ attorneys are Jeffrey Gersh, Paul Derby and Michael Yee of Encino-based Gersh Derby.
EXCLUSIVE: The Crow will fly with Welsh actor Luke Evans playing the title role in the F. Javier Gutierrez-directed franchise reboot for Relativity Media. Evans was the original choice, but he has been incredibly busy. He was just cast as the lead in Dracula Year Zero, he is the villain in Fast & Furious 6 and is Bard the Bowman in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Evans seemed to be unavailable because of production on Dracula and promotion on The Hobbit. The distributor looked at Tom Hiddleston and more recently Alexander Skarsgard, the latter of whom has a bunch of offers after Warner Bros halted Tarzan. Ultimately, they have decided to push the start date to early next year to accommodate his schedule in order to secure Evans, who is currently promoting the release of Fast 6. So hey junket guys, be sure to ask him about it. They are now in negotiations and I expect the deal to make. He seems an ideal fit for the role originated by Brandon Lee, who died tragically during production on the 1994 Alex Proyas-directed revenge story based on the James O’Barr comic book series. He’s repped by WME and United Agents.
The fast pace of digital-age reporting means a lot of half-truths and half-baked conversations being reported as fact. First, I’ve gotta call bullshit on these recent reports (sorry, PMC-owned sister publication Hollywood Life) that Alex Pettyfer has been set to play Christian Grey in the eagerly awaited Universal Pictures adaptation of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades Of Grey. That book is selling faster than Harry Potter, another novel series about a guy with a magic wand. There hasn’t been a shred of discussion at the studio about Pettyfer playing Grey. The actor filmed the “deflowering” scene from the book for Gus Van Sant, who did that on spec in an attempt to get himself the helming job. A lot of major directors have been discreetly approached, but everyone is waiting on a script by Kelly Marcel. They would not set any cast without input from a filmmaker.
Also not happening is Thor and The Avengers antagonist Tom Hiddleston starring in Relativity Media’s reboot of The Crow. A simple conversation has been overhyped and reported like it was going to happen. The guy to keep an eye on here is True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard, who is getting numerous offers since his plans to star for David Yates in Tarzan died on the vine when Warner Bros halted the project over budget. No formal offer yet, but it sounds to … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: WME has just signed F. Javier Gutierrez, the helmer who just landed the job directing the reboot of the James O’Barr cult fanboy classic The Crow at Relativity. Gutierrez, who’d been repped at Paradigm, previously wrote and directed the Spanish-language thriller Before The Fall (Tres Dias), a film that won Best Motion Picture and Best Screenplay at the Malaga Film Festival. In addition, Gutierrez is set to produce the sci-fi project The Greys for Dimension and is also producing House Of Horror with James Wan, currently in production Dimension. This was a highly competitive sign. He continues to be managed by Dan Farah of Farah Films & Management, and lawyered by Stephen Clark.
UPDATE, 3:40 PM: They are moving quickly on The Crow. Relativity Media set F. Javier Gutierrez to direct the film. Gutierrez helmed Before The Fall.
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 2:24 PM: Days after Relativity Media and The Weinstein Company buried the hatchet and dropped lawsuits on the remake of The Crow, Jesse Wigutow is making a deal to write the script. The original was distributed by the Weinsteins at Miramax back in 1994 and grossed $50.6M domestic. Wigutow has Irreparable Harm set up at HBO Films, recently rewrote Robert Ludlum’s The Osterman Weekend for Summit, and has Age Inappropriate with Offspring at Universal. He recently scripted a Steve McQueen biopic for Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver, based on the book Steve McQueen: Portrait Of An American Rebel. The scribe is repped by UTA, Warren Dern, and Benderspink.
Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has departed Relativity Media’s reboot of The Crow, Deadline has confirmed, following last month’s news from the Toronto Film Festival that the Spanish director has a holding deal to helm Summit Entertainment’s reboot of Highlander, written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. Twitchfilm today described the “revolving door” on The Crow, which has seen multiple directors, writers and stars come and go. In Fresnadillo’s case, from one “reboot” to another. Production on Highlander is scheduled to begin in the spring.
Relativity Media has announced that it has tapped Watchman screenwriter Alex Tse to pen the company’s “reinvention” of The Crow, which first appeared as a 1994 film starring Brandon Lee that was based on the James O’Barr comic book series. Bradley Cooper is attached to star and Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is aboard to direct. Tse is repped by CAA and Brillstein Entertainment. Of course, this is the project, from Edward R. Pressman and Apaches Entertainment, that has Relativity and the Weinstein Company trading lawsuits over disputed distribution rights to the pic; the Weinstein brothers distributed the 1994 film via their Miramax.
No decision yet on the merits of either side’s legal argument. But Relativity Media prevailed over The Weinstein Company in court today, according to Relativity’s legal representation. “The Court agreed with Relativity that TWC’s lawsuit against Relativity was improper and violated the parties’ arbitration agreement. TWC must now defend itself in the ongoing arbitration proceeding filed by Relativity. In that proceeding, Relativity claims damages in excess of $20 million against TWC for its egregious mishandling of the movie Nine and seeks rescission of the parties’ agreement with respect to The Crow. Today’s ruling demonstrates that TWC’s efforts to misuse the court system as a means of intimidation against Relativity failed. Relativity expects to prevail on all of its claims against TWC in arbitration.” I love lawsuits between the most controversial indie movie moguls.
To remind, Bert Fields is repping Harvey and Bob’s The Weinstein Co against Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media seeking injunctive relief and claiming there’s “a written contract signed by everybody” which gives the Weinsteins exclusive worldwide distribution rights on The Crow reboot and that Relativity can’t sell those rights to anybody else. The original film was distributed by the Weinsteins at Miramax back in 1994 and grossed $50.6M domestic. Relativity has been working to put Edward R. Pressman’s The Crow reinvention of the James O’Barr comic book series together.
EXCLUSIVE… UPDATE with Relativity reaction below): My day was just made. Right now, there’s a lawsuit being carried to the courtroom clerk in Los Angeles filed by one of the most controversial indie movie moguls against still another most controversial indie movie mogul. Don’t you just love when this happens? Bert Fields is repping Harvey and Bob’s The Weinstein Co against Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media seeking injunctive relief and claiming there’s “a written contract signed by everybody” which gives the Weinsteins exclusive worldwide distribution rights on The Crow reboot. The original was distributed by the Weinsteins at Miramax back in 1994 and grossed $50.6M domestic. The Weinsteins and Kavanaugh went back and forth on “a number of issues” before the lawsuit was filed this afternoon. “Mr. Kavanaugh was not going to honor that contract. Apparently, he’s going to sell these rights to others. He made a bunch of threats,” Fields tells me. “Some people may submit to that kind of arrogant conduct, but we’re not going to do it. If anybody tries to buy these distribution rights in The Crow, they are buying nothing but a lawsuit and they will get sued.” (The photo above is from Ryan and Harv in happier days…)
Needless to say, Relativity Media really laid into the Weinsteins in this reaction statement:
“This is yet another typical litigation stunt from the Weinsteins who have a long history of threatening law suits with the sole purpose of intimidation. If served, Relativity will seek immediate dismissal. While we expect these types of antics from the Weinsteins, we are shocked that a lawyer of Mr. Fields’ caliber would make such false, reckless and intentionally harmful statements to the press about Relativity and Mr. Kavanaugh. We intend to seek appropriate remedies for this misconduct. Clearly this is a feeble attempt to create a press stir and a malicious effort to interfere with Relativity’s development of the project.”
When I asked Fields why Kavanaugh Read More »
Bradley Cooper is in early negotiations to play the lead role in Relativity Media and Edward R. Pressman’s reinvention of The Crow, the 1994 adaptation of the James O’Barr comic book series that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) has been tapped to direct. Cooper would play the hero portrayed in the original film by Brandon Lee. The project is expected to begin production in the fall. Bradley next appears in Warner Bros’ The Hangover Part II, which opens May 26.
28 Weeks Later helmer Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will direct a reinvention of The Crow, the 1994 adaptation of the comic book series by James O’Barr. Relativity Media is making the movie with producer Edward R. Pressman. Brandon Lee, son of the martial arts great Bruce Lee, starred in the original. The film is expected to start production in the fall. Fresnadillo also directed the Spanish-language film Intacto. He’s in post on the Clive Owen starrer Intruders. Pic’s produced by Pressman, Jeff Most, Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, Apaches’ Enrique López Lavigne and Belén Atienza. Relativity’s Tucker Tooley will be executive producer.