Thursday, July 05, 2012

Escape Lawsuit

The Weinstein Co. is hip deep in cartoon litigation.

... [Escape from Planet Earth], which sparked a $50 million lawsuit from the films' former writer/director Tony Leech and producer Brian Inerfeld more than a year ago, will be privately screened for the pair ...

In their suit, Inerfeld and Leech claim that the Weinstein Co. botched the film by overspending on production, giving contradictory script notes and paying actors such as Kevin Bacon thousands of dollars to lend his voice to the film. They also said that they pleaded with the studio to shut down production on the film, but were rebuffed by studio head Harvey Weinstein.

The suit also alleges that they were offered $500,000 in hush money so that the story wouldn't come out before last year's Academy Awards. ...

The Weinstein brothers have had a long history with animated features. Their 2005 effort Hoodwinked was a money spinner, although the long-delayed sequel HW II was not. And a handful of years ago, the Weinsteins were co-producing some low-budget, Shrek-like features in Hollywood with the Henson Company.

I don't know if the features, based on various fairy tales, were ever produced and distributed, but TAG made a run at getting the co-productions under contract. The crew voted to go union, but the bosses from Henson voted to be pills and we never reached a contract.

Hopefully Escape from Planet Earth will have a better fate than Hoodwinked II or The Weinstein Co.'s low-budget fairy tales.

The Nikkster offers her version of the festivities here.


Alan Krows said...

Maybe the Shrek-like Weinstein/Henson project was Unstable Fables:

Cartoon Brew offered some insight into this legal debacle last year. Somewhere in there was a link to a PDF of the legal filing, which revealed a sad story of apparent foolhardiness on all sides.

Meanwhile, it would be great if the fruits of Rainmaker's effort reached theaters and realized whatever success they're due based on the quality of the work.

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