Martin Scorsese on Friday rebutted a lawsuit filed against him earlier this week, dubbing the claims “absurd” and arguing that it “has all the earmarks of a media stunt.”
The iconic director was responding to a suit filed by Cecchi Gori Pictures on Wednesday in a Los Angeles Superior Court, which accused Scorsese of violating contracts he signed to adapt the Japanese novel “Silence."
"It is shocking to us that the lawyers for Cecchi Gori Pictures would file a suit pursuing such absurd claims considering the amicable working relationship existing between Martin Scorsese and the principals of Cecchi Gori Pictures," Scorsese said in a statement. "The claims asserted are completely contradicted by, inconsistent with, and contrary to the express terms of an agreement entered into by the parties last year."
According to the suit, Scorsese and Cecch Gori entered a written agreement in 1990 to have Scorsese direct the film after "Kundun," which he made in 1997. Since making "Kundun," the cineaste has opted to make a series of other pictures first, including "Gangs of New York," "Hugo" and "The Aviator."
Scorsese allegedly agreed to pay various fees for each film he made before adapting Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel, which chronicles a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan as security forces persecute Christians.
"Wolf of Wall Street" will be Scorsese's next film, and the director and his lawyers believe the suit and the inception of his next project are no coincidence.
"The lawsuit filing on the eve of Mr. Scorsese starting another picture has all the earmarks of a media stunt," the statement continued. "Mr. Scorsese is confident that he will prevail in court should Cecchi Gori Pictures actually pursue this meritless action."