×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Legendary’s ‘Godzilla’ Case Heading for Trial

State court judge rejects motion for arbitration

A state court judge has rejected a motion by Legendary Pictures that its removal of three producers from “Godzilla” should go to arbitration.

Friday’s tentative ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan paves the way for a jury trial. The judge wrote, “The Court finds that opposing parties never impliedly or otherwise consented to the written arbitration provisions, based upon the substantial evidence filed in opposition.”

Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Doug Davison sued Legendary and its president Jon Jashni on Jan. 17 over the production company taking them off “Godzilla,” accusing Legendary of trying to avoid paying the producers millions of dollars. Legendary had asked for a court order on Jan. 9 to let the studio move forward and filed an arbitration demand at that point.

“We are delighted that the court found that there was no written agreement so that this can proceed to a public jury trial,” said Larry Stein, attorney for producers.

Dale Kinsella, attorney for Legendary, said in a statement, “The judge’s decision has no bearing on the merits of the parties’ respective claims, and Legendary remains confident that it will prevail in the case.”

Both sides had agreed in January that Kahn should rule on the issue of the applicability of the arbitration provision in a 2011 draft agreement sent by Legendary to producers covering their producing activities. The suit asserted that since the agreement was never signed, the arbitration provision is not enforceable.

Legendary’s complaint said the trio’s efforts had consisted only of introducing a screenwriter and providing contributing notes that were not used. Legendary asserted that the compensation for all three under the agreement is limited to a $25,000 development fee.

The counterclaim asserts that the trio relied on that 2009 pledge and spent the next several years selecting screenwriters, developing the story, characters and screenplay and readying the movie for production. It also asserts that Legendary made an oral agreement in 2010 to pay the three producers a $25,000 development fee, fixed compensation of $1.3 million and contingent compensation of 3% of first-dollar gross receipts after the trio assisted Legendary in obtaining the “Godzilla” rights from Japan’s Toho Co.

Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jashni remain as producers, along with Brian Rogers. Lin and Lee had been included as producers since the original announcement in 2010 in which Legendary also said “Godzilla” would be produced under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. “Godzilla” is set for a May 16, 2014, release through Warner Bros.

More Film

  • Woody Allen Developing Next Film With

    Woody Allen Teams with Spain’s Mediapro for Next Film

    MADRID — Woody Allen is re-teaming with Spain’s Mediapro, one of Europe’s biggest independent film-TV companies, to develop his next film with an eye it seems to shooting in Spain. Mediapro co-financed and co-produced two of Allen’s highest-grossing movies, 2008’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona,” which grossed $96.4 million worldwide, and 2011’s “Midnight in Paris” which earned [...]

  • 'Stitches' Review: Berlin Film Festival

    Berlin Film Review: 'Stitches'

    An elegant hybrid of true-story exposé and slow-moving arthouse thriller, Serbian director Miroslav Terzić’s sober sophomore feature “Stitches” takes a familiar idea — a lone crusader taking on a corrupt system in pursuit of the truth — but delivers an unusually thoughtful, psychologically compelling character study. Taking its cue from Snežana Bogdanović’s eerily composed but fathomless [...]

  • Aruna and Her Palate review

    Berlin Film Review: ‘Aruna & Her Palate’

    When mouthwatering Indonesian cuisine and romance are on the table, “Aruna & Her Palate” is a bouncy crowd-pleaser. Less tasty is the backdrop of a suspected bird flu outbreak that brings a food-loving epidemiologist into contact with her secret crush. Adapted from Laksmi Pamuntjak’s 2014 novel “The Bird Woman’s Palate,” “Aruna” manages to overcome its [...]

  • 'Duke' Review: Two Fake Cops Patrol

    Film Review: 'Duke'

    If you can envision “Let’s Be Cops” reconstituted as a noirish psychodrama, you may be adequately prepared for “Duke,” an uneven but arresting indie thriller about two siblings who are driven to heroic extremes by childhood traumas. Co-directed by twin brothers James and Anthony Gaudioso, who also appear in strikingly different supporting roles, the film [...]

  • Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in

    Greek Director Probes Deeper Issues in Berlin Festival Film 'Sargasso Sea'

    After a sudden suicide turns a small eel-farming town upside down, an investigation unearths troubling secrets about the town’s past. Those discoveries will bring together two women trapped in solitary lives, offering each a chance to find salvation. “The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea” is the third feature by Greek director Syllas Tzoumerkas. Starring frequent [...]

  • Xavier Legrand Custody

    France's Cesar Awards Leads the Way for the Oscars

    Since 2011, France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has steadfastly held its annual awards ceremony the Friday before the Academy Awards. And if launching the Césars two days before the Oscars holds a real, practical benefit — allowing those walking both red carpets time to linger over their last flutes of Champagne before [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content