And with a signature and a date today, the more than $200 million copyright lawsuit by Hollywood against the file sharing site is over. A NYC-based federal judge today granted final approval to Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Viacom, Disney, Comedy Partners and Warner Bros’ request to dismiss their almost two year case against LimeWire and its founder Mark Gorton. Filed on October 30, the motion for a voluntary dismissal with prejudice was approved by U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr on Thursday (read it here). None of the plaintiffs gave any official reason for ending the case against the now-closed-down LimeWire. However, sources tell me that the studios received a hefty multimillion-dollar settlement.
Related: Studios Get $100M Settlement From Shuttering Download Site
Hollywood first took LimeWire and Gorton to court on back on February 1, 2012 over thousands of its films and TV shows that it claimed the file sharing provider fostered the illegal downloading by the site’s users. Just over a year ago the studios declared that they wanted LimeWire found liable before their lawsuit even went to trial because they claimed that their case against the online service was so similar to one LimeWire lost to the record labels in May 2010 that there just wasn’t even a need to continue litigation. They never got that judgment but now it really doesn’t matter. Gianni Servodidio and Steven Fabrizio of Jenner & Block’s NYC office represented Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Viacom International Inc., Comedy Partners, Disney Enterprises, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, And Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. The defendants were represented by Michael Shuster and Avi Brian Israeli of Holwell Shuster & Goldberg.
“We have a huge market and we want to share it with you,” said Zhang Xun, President of China Film Co-Production Company today at the U.S./China Film Summit in downtown L.A. However, Xun warned the crowd that successful Hollywood co-production in China requires a shift in the kind of Chinese characters American films depict. “We want films that are heavily invested in Chinese culture, not one or two shots,” she said, referencing films like Disney/Marvel’s Iron Man 3 without mentioning them by name. “We want to see positive Chinese images. China has been opening up for 30 years and I think both U.S. and Chinese screenwriters want to write positive images,” Xun added, citing that there are still too many depictions of Chinese roles as drug dealers or criminals. A department of the Chinese government, the CFCC, is in charge of all administration and coordination for foreign film co-production. Last year, several films like Expendables 2, Cloud Atlas and Looper were hoping for co-production status but ended up hitting the big screen in China as purely foreign imports.
Related: Big Week For China-Hollywood Ties; Universal To Open Beijing Office
Xun’s remarks in a translated Q&A came after a morning of panels for the fourth annual confab. Running for a full day for the first time, the U.S./China Film Summit ends with a gala dinner tonight. Studios such as Warner Bros, Fox, Paramount and DreamWorks Animation are serving as sponsors of the event and execs from the likes of DWA and Vintage Roadshow Asia are participating Organizers announced today that they would soon start holding quarterly events on topics such as foreign sales in China and doing post production in the Middle Kingdom. AFM, which gets underway tomorrow in Santa Monica, will see a record influx of Chinese companies and execs, with more than 100 distributors and producers from more than 50 companies. Read More »
The Clint Eastwood-directed Jersey Boys will hit the big screen on June 20, 2014, and Live By Night, the next movie written and directed by Ben Affleck, will be released on Christmas Day 2015. Warner … Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline.
Deadline’s 3rd annual The Contenders event kicked off this morning at the shimmering new Wallis Annenberg Center For the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, simultaneously launching the 2013 awards season precisely four months before the 86th Academy Awards. The spotlight fell on seven different studios/distributors and 22 films competing for awards consideration, with an overview of the Weinstein Company‘s impressive offerings getting things started in a highlight reel that felt like an Oscar contender in itself. An assortment of TWC writers, producers and directors were on hand to share anecdotes and tidbits with Deadline’s Pete Hammond, including Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, Lee Daniels’ The Butler producer Pam Williams and writer Danny Strong, August: Osage County director John Wells, and the directors of the acclaimed documentaries 20 Feet From Stardom (Morgan Neville) and Salinger (Shane Salerno). Hammond quipped that TWC was so stocked with doc contenders this year that of the 151 eligible entries, “149 felt like they were from Weinstein.” Wells recalled how Osage County co-star Meryl Streep showed up to the first table read of ther script having memorized it and going off-book. “Everyone was like, ‘Wow’,” he recalled. “It was, ‘OK, game on’.”
Related: PHOTOS: Contenders 2013 Gallery
During a session promoting the Roadside/Lionsgate feature All is Lost starring Robert Redford in what the actor has called the most challenging role of his career, sound editors Richard Hymns and Steve Boeddeker marveled at how the film – with abundant action, a single star and minimal dialogue – was literally a sound editor’s dream. And during the following panel for the Focus Features hopefuls Dallas Buyers Club, The Place Beyond the Pines and We Steal Secrets, the morning theme of patience being a virtue came to the fore. Dallas Buyers Club producer Robbie Brenner calmly discussed how her film’s journey from script to screen spanned some 20 years – and nearly fell apart at the last minute when Canadian financing dried up. Read More »
There’s some legal action down that Yellow Brick Road. Just in time for the upcoming 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, Warner Bros were sued Wednesday by the estate of the Emmy winning late … Read More »
Warner Bros has released a trailer for The Lego Movie, the Village Roadshow CGI 3D co-production that is due out February 7. Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Liam Neeson and Morgan Freeman provide the voices and Cloudy With A … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After being involved in just about all of Warner Bros‘ successful efforts in translating DC Comics characters to film, David S. Goyer has been staked by the studio to a three-year first-look deal for his Phantom Four banner. The deal gets underway with an untitled Hitchockian thriller with a grounded sci-fi element that Doug Jung is writing as a potential directing vehicle for Goyer. He will produce it and his Phantom Four production president Nellie Stevens-Reed will be executive producer, and Jon Berg is overseeing for the studio. Jung scripted two projects for Paramount: Antwerp for Bad Robot and Circle Of Confusion to produce, and The Last Duel, which has Martin Scorsese attached to direct and Kevin Misher producing.
Related: ‘Man Of Steel’ Sequel Underway
Studio producing deals are hard to come by these days, but it makes good sense for Warner Bros to want Goyer close by. He most recently scripted the studio’s Superman reboot Man Of Steel, which grossed $665 million worldwide, and he is well into writing the Batman Vs. Superman follow-up that Zack Snyder will direct with Ben Affleck playing the Caped Crusader and Henry Cavill reprising. Before that, he collaborated with Christopher Nolan on The Dark Knight trilogy, with the trio of pictures grossing close to $2.5 billion worldwide. Goyer separately hatched Da Vinci’s Demons, the Starz series on which he serves as creator, writer, director and executive producer. That series, which focuses on the complex life of Leonardo Di Vinci, premiered in April.
Related: MIPTV: David S. Goyer Talks ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’, Batman
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Bethany Hamilton, the subject of the 2011 feature Soul Surfer starring AnnaSophia Robb, is getting into the acting business herself. She will join the cast of Alcon Entertainment’s Dolphin Tale 2, the sequel to 2011′s Dolphin Tale, … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros and Pearl Street Films has set Will Staples to script an untitled big-scale project that will be developed as a directing and starring vehicle for Ben Affleck. The film is set in Africa, where … Read More »
Part of the appeal of HBO’s Entourage was that no matter how treacherous Hollywood could be, Vinnie Chase always knew he had the loyalty and friendship of his Queens, NY, pals to fall back on. That spirit seems to have gone AWOL in the negotiations to move the series to the big screen. Nearly 10 months after my colleague Mike Fleming Jr revealed that Warner Bros had greenlighted a script by creator Doug Ellin that he will direct, progress has slowed to the point that some of the gang are publicly taking shots at each other. Exec producer Mark Wahlberg, on whose life Entourage is loosely based, told TMZ last week that the film will happen “as soon as those guys stop being so greedy.” Since Jeremy Piven and Kevin Connolly already have made their deals, Wahlberg seems to be directing his remarks at Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara and Adrian Grenier, who played Chase. Grenier responded via Twitter: “I will sign any deal that gives ALL the boys an opportunity to share in the upside of success EQUALLY.” There is precedent for this in the last HBO series to transfer to the big screen: The exact same thing happened in 2004 when Michael Patrick King got the go-ahead on a big-screen version of Sex And The City. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros. is near a deal for Blood On Snow, the first of a two novel series by The Snowman author Jo Nesbo. It will be developed as a potential star vehicle for … Read More »
CEO Tim Davie Reveals Vision For Future Of BBC Worldwide
In an address to employees, BBC Worldwide CEO Tim Davie today unveiled a new vision to build the BBC’s brands, audiences and commercial returns around the globe. It includes a £200M investment in premium content, the launch of three new core consumer brands propositions – spanning the genres of premium factual, factual entertainment and drama — and a greater focus on digital innovation to extend the company’s reach and routes to market. “BBC Worldwide has a good track record of taking British content to the world, benefiting international audiences, license fee payers and the wider industry alike,” he said. “But the time has come for a step-change, reflecting the rapid development in our markets.”
UK Culture Secretary Spends The Week Meeting With U.S. Showbiz Execs
During a visit to the U.S. this week, UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller met with senior executives at Disney, Warner Bros and other showbiz companies to discuss collaboration and hear suggestions on how UK filming conditions could be made more attractive to American productions. She also sought reaction to the UK’s recent extension of tax credits and talked with HBO about its Game of Thrones production model and with Lucasfilm about its plan to shoot the new Star Wars film in the UK and whether there could be other ways to help support the local film industry. Read More »
The Man of Steel helmer’s action-packed two minutes-plus follows Superman from Action Comics #1 through 75 years of comic book, TV, film, even video game incarnations. Zack Snyder, Bruce Timm and Warner Bros Animation created the clip in which the Last Son of Krypton leaps a tall building … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Up and coming British actress Charlotte Riley (Easy Virtue, World Without End) has been cast in Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s true story tale In The Heart Of The Sea, which … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Johnson, who wrote and directed the Slamdance winner The Dirties, is in talks with Warner Bros to draft Encylopedia Brown into a family film. Since it’s aimed at a young audience, his first challenge is … Read More »
The New York Film Festival closed Saturday night with the World Premiere of Spike Jonze‘s fourth feature, the irresistibly charming romantic fantasy Her, about a man who falls head over heels for his “operating system”. The studio held a simultaneous screening on the West Coast … Read More »
You’ve got one week to drop your case or we’ll go after you for malicious prosecution. That in a nutshell is what an email today from a lawyer for Warner Bros told the attorneys for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros is in early talks with Garth Davis to make his narrative feature directing debut on Shantaram, … Read More »