Weinstein Co. Sues Relativity Over ‘The Crow’

The Weinsteins are asking a Superior Court judge to prohibit Relativity Media from selling distribution rights of the remake to anyone else

The Weinstein Co. is suing Relativity Media, asking a judge to prohibit it from selling "The Crow" remake to any other company.

The Weinstein Co.'s lawyer, Bert Fields, told TheWrap that the Weinsteins have a contract to distribute "The Crow," and got the impression that Relativity chief Ryan Kavanaugh planned to sell those rights to another distributor — so the company is suing to keep that from happening.

Relativity expressed indignation at the lawsuit: "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," the company said in a written statement.

"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."

In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Superior Court in Los Angeles, Fields wrote that Relativity and TWC entered into a contract on March 25, 2009, for "TWC's exclusive right throughout the world to market and distribute prequels, sequels and remakes of a highly successful film entitled 'The Crow' on terms specified in the contract and other terms set out in a voluminous written document…"

Read the lawsuit here

Fields wrote that TWC followed the terms of the contract, but that "Relativity indicated to TWC that it would not perform the contract and will attempt to convey TWC's distribution rights in the picture to others."

Fields told TheWrap that he wrote the company a letter that says, " 'Listen, all we want to do is confirm the contract and we'll have no problem.' And they wrote back saying, 'We don't owe you a duty to confirm anything.'"

In addition to asking a judge to keep Relativity from letting anyone else distribute "The Crow," the lawsuit asks for attorneys' fees.

Juan Carlos Fresnadillo is directing the remake of 1994's "The Crow." The original movie grossed $50.7 million — an impressive sum for its day. The film was marred, however, by the accidental shooting death of Brandon Lee during the filming of the movie.

Relativity's version of the film is being produced by Edward R. Pressman, Jeff Most, Relativity’s Kavanaugh, and Apache Entertainment's Enrique López Lavigne and Belén Atienza. Relativity’s Tooley ("The Fighter") will serve as executive producer. 

Filming is scheduled to begin in the fall.