Avi Lerner’s Millennium Media has backed out of Brett Ratner’s upcoming Milli Vanilli film, which the company had been planning to shop at the European Film Market.
“On the heels of the announcement of the long gestating Milli Vanilli movie, the project fielded multiple competitive bids and a group of private equity investors have emerged that are fully financing the movie to begin production shortly,” said a spokesperson in a statement for Millennium Media and RatPac Entertainment. “Millennium will not be selling the film at EFM or be involved in the production.”
Ratner is still attached to direct the project. A representative for Millennium Media did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on who the group of private equity investors are.
On Saturday, Times Up lashed out at Ratner after a report that the disgraced director had lined up a new film project just four years after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.
“You don’t get to go away for a couple years and then resurface and act like nothing happened,” the organization said in a statement. “We have not — and will not — forget. And Millennium Media shouldn’t either. There should be no comeback,” “There should be no comeback. #wewontforgetbrett.”
Last week, Deadline reported that Ratner was set to direct a new film about the pop duo Milli Vanilli. The film would be Ratner’s first directing job since 2014’s “Hercules” — and also the first since he was accused of sexual misconduct four years ago by at least six women, including actresses Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge (The director has disputed the accusations — and even filed a defamation lawsuit against one of his accusers, which he later withdrew).
Time’s Up was not pleased to hear about Ratner’s potential comeback.
“Time’s Up was born out of the national reckoning on workplace sexual harassment. Our movement is a product of countless courageous acts by many survivors, including those who spoke out about what they endured at the hands of Brett Ratner,” the group said in its statement. “Not only did Ratner never acknowledge or apologize for the harm he caused, but he also filed lawsuits in an attempt to silence the voices of survivors who came forward — a tactic right out of the predator’s playbook.”
Shortly after the misconduct accusations surfaced in 2017, Warner Bros. severed ties with Ratner and his production company RatPac, which was founded with billionaire investor James Packer.
Ratner is the director of the “Rush Hour” movies and other hits that have grossed $2 billion worldwide; he has also served as executive producer on “The Revenant,” “Horrible Bosses” and TV’s “Prison Break.”