Duo to sue over unauthorized commercial tie-in
Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are teaming up in a lawsuit against a movie distributor and a watch company they say used their likenesses without permission.
The actors said in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday that they never authorized a commercial tie-in between Tutima watches and the movie “Righteous Kill.” They sought unspecified damages.
The actors recently starred in the movie distributed by Overture Films LLC. The lawsuit names Overture and Tutima USA Inc. as defendants.
In a statement, Overture said: “We are surprised by this action as Overture Films has not received any communication on this matter for months from Pacino, De Niro or their representatives. We take lawsuits very seriously and our legal team is addressing the issue.”
Tutima did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
The lawsuit said Overture entered into a commercial tie-in with Tutima and advertised Tutima’s watches using De Niro’s and Pacino’s names, voices and likenesses without their consent.
“Had their permission been sought, both De Niro and Pacino would have flatly refused to consent to the use of their names, voices and/or likenesses in connection with the tie-in,” the lawsuit said.
It said De Niro has only commercially endorsed a product or service in the United States under very “specific and compelling circumstances.”
It said Pacino in his career has never commercially endorsed any product or service in the United States.