×

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

  • Cannes VR

    Cannes Film Festival Plots Major Expansion to VR Program

    Cannes XR, the Marché du Film’s program dedicated to immersive and augmented reality content, is set to expand. For its second edition, Cannes XR has partnered with tech creator Positron and Brogent Technologies to introduce a new VR theater, dedicated space and competition. While keeping its 700-square meter exhibition space in the basement of Cannes’ [...]

  • EFM 1st European Film Politics Seminar

    Berlin: 1st European Film Politics Seminar - Protecting Independent Film Production

    Leading industry reps gathered on the opening day of Berlin’s European Film Market for what is certain to be a continuing discussion about leveling the playing field for independent producers across Europe and demanding greater engagement in the sector from global players. The 1st European Film Politics Seminar aims to set the political agenda of [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein (C) arrives to New

    Harvey Weinstein Jury Note Stirs Frenzied Speculation on Verdict

    A note from the jury in the Harvey Weinstein trial on Friday afternoon set the media and legal worlds abuzz with speculation about the verdict. The note suggested that the jurors were deadlocked on the two most serious charges — predatory sexual assault — but had reached a unanimous consensus on three other counts, of [...]

  • Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior

    Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior VP of A&R

    In what may be the first signal of the next era of Def Jam Recordings, Naim McNair has been named senior VP of A&R at the company. The move comes just hours after it was confirmed that Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of the label since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the [...]

  • Paul Rosenberg

    Paul Rosenberg Stepping Down as Head of Def Jam

    UPDATED: Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of Def Jam Recordings since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the company, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. Jeff Harleston, general counsel for Def Jam parent company Universal Music Group, will serve as interim chief until a new CEO is appointed; he will [...]

  • Baby Yoda - The Child Animatronic

    Hasbro's Adorable Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy Is Already Sold Out on Disney's Online Store

    The Force remains strong for toys based on Baby Yoda, the breakout star of Disney Plus original series “The Mandalorian.” Less than a day after becoming available for pre-order, Hasbro’s new $59.99 Baby Yoda animatronic toy is no longer available on Disney’s official online store: As of Friday morning, Shop Disney listed it as “sold [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content