×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Under Fire, Red Granite Declares It Is Still ‘Open for Business’

Red Granite Pictures, which finds itself at the center of a massive international corruption case, issued a statement Monday seeking to reassure the entertainment industry that it is still in business.

“Today we announce in no uncertain terms that Red Granite remains open for business, and that everyone involved with Red Granite can confidently continue to do business with us in the wake of the civil lawsuit filed by the government last month,” the company said in a statement.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a $1 billion asset forfeiture case on July 20, alleging the widespread looting of 1MDB, a Malaysian development fund. It accuses Red Granite CEO Riza Aziz, the stepson of Malaysia’s prime minister, of taking some $74 million that traced back to the fund to finance Red Granite. It also accuses Aziz of using looted funds to buy luxury real estate in London, Beverly Hills and New York.

The government is seeking to seize any future proceeds owed to Red Granite from “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the 2013 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, which it produced.

Late Monday, prosecutors filed a stipulation with Red Granite that sets up a procedure to segregate proceeds from two Red Granite films: “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Friends With Kids,” a 2011 film starring Megan Fox. The second film was not previously part of the government’s case. As part of the stipulation, the government withdrew a proposed restraining order against the rights to “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Instead, the stipulation maintains existing collection account management agreements, thereby allowing proceeds from the films to continue to flow to DiCaprio, Scorsese, Fox, the actors’ and directors’ guilds, and to Red Granite’s lenders.

Any portion of the proceeds from the two films that are due to Red Granite will be held in segregated accounts pending a ruling on the government’s asset forfeiture request. Prosecutors are ultimately seeking to return funds to the Malaysian people.

In its statement, Red Granite declared that the stipulation will allow business to proceed as usual.

“The agreement also makes clear that the government has no interest in interfering with Red Granite’s ongoing business and that there is nothing about its lawsuit that should prevent anyone from working with Red Granite,” the company said. “Red Granite has an exciting upcoming film slate, and we look forward to making many more great movies.”

Red Granite is producing “Papillon,” starring Charlie Hunnam, a remake of the 1973 film starring Steve McQueen.

The Justice Department has said that the investigation is ongoing.

More Biz

  • BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG Posts Strong Earnings for 2018

    BMG announced solid earnings for 2018 — its tenth year since the “new” BMG opened for business after its previous incarnation merged with Sony Music — as part of parent company Bertlesmann’s results Tuesday. According to the announcement, despite “negative exchange rate effects,” BMG’s revenues increased by 7.5 percent to €545 million (around $644 million), [...]

  • Rahm Emanuel

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Calls Jussie Smollett Deal a 'Whitewash of Justice'

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel blasted the decision by Cook County prosecutors to drop charges Tuesday against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Flanked by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and Kevin Graham, the president of the Chicago police union, the mayor said the decision sends a message that high-profile people will not be held accountable for their [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Shares Spike on DirecTV Deal, Renewed CBS Merger Chatter

    Viacom shares soared 10% on Tuesday after the company reaffirmed financial guidance for its media networks wing on the heels of sealing a hard-fought carriage renewal agreement with AT&T’s DirecTV. The stock gain underscored the importance of maintaining its presence on DirecTV and other AT&T channel bundles. Viacom on Tuesday reaffirmed its guidance of affiliate [...]

  • Grammy Awards60th Annual Grammy Awards, Press

    Grammy Eligibility Year to Close One Month Early for 2020 Awards

    The eligibility year for the 2020 Grammy Awards will close on Aug. 31, one month earlier than usual, the Recording Academy announced today in a letter to members. The change is due to next year’s telecast taking place on Jan. 26, around two weeks earlier than usual (although the 2018 awards took place on Jan. [...]

  • Electronic Arts Logo

    EA Laying Off 350 People, About 4% of Staff

    Electronic Arts is laying off about 350 of its 9,000-person staff, CEO Andrew Wilson announced in a blog post on its website Tuesday. In the brief, open letter, Wilson noted that the move was made to “address our challenges and prepare for the opportunities ahead,” and to “better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization [...]

  • Jon Platt Martin Bandier

    Read Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida's Memo Thanking Martin Bandier, Welcoming Jon Platt

    As outgoing Sony/ATV chief Martin Bandier (pictured above, right) finishes up his final week on the job, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida thanked him for his 12 years of service and welcomed incoming publishing CEO Jon Platt (above, left) who joins from Warner/Chappell. The letter, obtained by Variety and under the subject line “Warm wishes to [...]

  • iHeartMedia Strikes Multi-Year Deal With LiveXLive

    iHeartMedia Strikes Multi-Year Deal With LiveXLive

    iHeartMedia today announced a multi-year agreement with LiveXLive, a digital media company focused on live entertainment. According to the announcement, the deal combines content, production, distribution and promotion. The newly expanded partnership gives LiveXLive exclusive global livestreaming rights for 17 iHeartRadio marquee events this year, including iHeartRadio’s ALTer Ego, iHeartCountry Festival, iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Daytime Stage at [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content