TARANTINO TO COURT?
Quentin Tarantino is filing suit against Gawker.com for "copyright infringement" over their spreading of a leaked copy of his script for The Hateful Eight. The Western script was sent out by Tarantino to a select group, someone involved with that group leaked it, Gawker made it worse, and Tarantino's saying he's shelved the project, and has called in the lawyers.
Let's break down the situation:
1. The script was reportedly an early draft, maybe even a first draft, and no doubt would have been through a lot more polishing. I can understand not wanting anyone outside of a few trusted associates to read a first draft.
2. Gawker went above and beyond the simple reporting of the story, they actively participated in the piracy by making the purloined play available to their readers.
3. The reason Gawker deliberately made an unpleasant situation worse is that their business model seems to built on acting like predictable pseudo-subversive dicks, and spreading the script seemed to be the dickiest move available.
I find it hard to sympathize with Gawker.
SPEAKING OF LAWSUITS:
The Director, Ted Kotcheff, and Writer, Robert Klane, of the 1989 cult-hit comedy Weekend At Bernie's are suing 20th Century Fox and MGM for what they say are millions of dollars in profits that were denied them.
For those who don't know, Weekend At Bernie's was a farcical comedy produced by Gladden Entertainment and released by Fox back in 1989.
It's about two low level paper pushers at an insurance company who uncover cases of insurance fraud. They take it to their boss Bernie, who pretends to reward them by inviting them to his beach house for the weekend. What our heroes don't know is that Bernie's the one behind the fraud, and is planning on killing them. However the hit man kills Bernie first, and the two goofs then go through various hoops to make it look like Bernie's still alive.
The film was a modest success, pulling in about $30 million at the box office, but did have a whole second life on cable reruns and home video. This second life led to a sequel, which was as dead as its title character, but the first film just kept chugging along.
As the years went by Gladden became part of MGM, which is why they're being sued as well as Fox, and the filmmakers claim that during those years the money piled up, and they saw none of it.
They might have a case, but they will have a hell of a time proving it. Hollywood bookkeeping is a realm of shadows and madness, especially when the bulk of the revenue comes via television and home video.
SPEAKING OF MGM:
Watch this trailer for MGM's 90th anniversary and see if you can spot something most of the films have in common.
Did you see it?
Most of the films featured in that trailer were not made by MGM.
Most of MGM's original film library is now owned by Warner Brothers, leaving MGM more of a repository of the libraries of other companies rather than its own history. These include United Artists, Orion, Gladden, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Cannon, and literally dozens more.
Says a lot about Hollywood.