Firm fight over 'The Crow' remake rights turns nasty

In the latest legal headache for the Weinstein Co., Relativity has accused the company of intentionally masking its financial problems in order to induce Relativity to finance the TWC tuner “Nine.”

This accusation comes in Relativity’s response, which includes claims for more than $20 million against TWC for “mishandling” of the pic, after last month’s Weinstein Co. filings to halt Relativity from selling distribution rights to “The Crow” to anyone but TWC.

But Relativity aired its own grievances in the docs filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court — claiming that TWC’s “botch(ing)” of “Nine” two years ago is reason enough to shop “The Crow” elsewhere.

In the filing, Relativity claims “TWC’s unilateral, ill-founded decision regarding the film’s release directly resulted in the movie ‘Nine’ being a commercial disaster. Based on the information available to it, Relativity does not believe that TWC has the ability to meet ($70 million in P&A) obligations … and Relativity is under no obligation to allow TWC to ruin yet another movie.”

TWC attorney Bert Fields called Relativity’s response “complete hogwash.”

Last June, TWC underwent a massive restructuring with Goldman Sachs to reorganize $450 million of debt.

Relativity’s response also includes a motion to move the dispute over “The Crow” into arbitration, not litigation as Fields requested through injunction last month. Relativity cites a clause in their March 2009 agreement that calls for any disputes to be settled through “confidential arbitration proceedings.”

Law firms Weiss & Hunt and K&L Gates filed Relativity’s response, which includes claims of breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing, repudiation and unfair business practices.

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