As if the franchise wasn’t already tainted with the untimely death of an actor and the lingering stench of Edward Furlong’s post-American History X career desperation, it now appears that Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s remake of The Crow might not be soaring onto screens anytime soon.
The Weinstein Company is bringing Relativity Media to court over a distribution dispute, claiming that they have “a written contract signed by everybody” that gives the Weinsteins worldwide rights to the film (they distributed the original through Miramax in 1994). Their side of the story is that Relativity head honcho Ryan Kavanaugh is shopping around rights to other parties, though Kavanaugh has yet to respond as of this writing.
I’d like to think that the two companies can work it out, though we’re talking about two mega-producers with inflated egos that are no strangers to lawsuits. With a director and potential star in place, this is the perfect time for the Weinsteins to step in and raise hell; they just want a piece of the pie. Relativity has had way too much momentum as of late to let this project go by the wayside. Of course, stranger things have happened.
As of now, The Crow is still scheduled to shoot in the fall for a 2012 release.
Relativity has responded to the Weinsteins and their rep, Bert Fields, claiming that 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.” Kavanaugh and Co. plan on seeking a dismissal if served, dismissing the claim as a “feeble attempt to create a press stir and a malicious effort to interfere with Relativity’s development of the project.”
The rebuttal at least addresses the real issue at hand. The Weinsteins technically can’t stop Relativity from making the film, but if they cause enough of a stink with this distribution mess, people might back out because they don’t want to be associated with it.
We’ll see how long this gets dragged out for.