Scorsese denies Cecchi Gori claim

Director calls lawsuit over commitment to film a 'media stunt'

Calling its lawsuit a “media stunt,” Martin Scorsese has responded to Cecchi Gori Pictures’ suit over the director’s commitment to the film “Silence.”

“It is shocking to us that the lawyers for Cecchi Gori Pictures would file a suit pursuing such absurd claims considering the amicable working relationship existing between Martin Scorsese and the principals of Cecchi Gori Pictures,” the statement from Scorsese read. “The claims asserted are completely contradicted by, inconsistent with, and contrary to the express terms of an agreement entered into by the parties last year.”

On Aug. 22, attorneys for Cecchi filed suit against Scorsese, claiming the helmer had breached an agreement to direct “Silence” as his next pic. According to court docs, producers sunk more than $750,000 into development of the picture, which they claim Scorsese agreed to direct more than twenty years ago. Scorsese’s next project will be “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

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‘Silence’ tells the tale of a 17th century Jesuit missionary and is based on a book by Japanese author Shusako Endo.

A number of financial difficulties have beleagured Cecchi, which was Italy’s top production and distribution shingle until the mid 1990s, during the past few years. Two years ago the company had to battle bankruptcy proceedings in Italy, which included the auctioning off of the company’s 300-title library which included Oscar-winning pics “Life is Beautiful,” “Il Postino” and Vittorio Gassman starrer “Il Sorpasso.”

Principal owner Vittorio Cecchi Gori was briefly incarcerated on charges of fraudulent bankruptcy in 2008.