The producers filed a cross-complaint Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court and sought declaratory relief, accusing TWC of using the lawsuit to conceal its unstable finances.
“TWC launched this controversy, masking its current financial instability by filing a strike suit with no written license attached,” the filing said. “The producers learned the production lending bank for the Project would neither trust nor accept as collateral a promise from TWC to pay a minimum guarantee, due to the bank’s negative perception about TWC’s disintegrating liquidity.”
The complaint also said that the negotiations with TWC became a “futile exercise” because of the myriad open points, adding, “No party ever signed anything.”
TWC sued Borman, Rassam and Open Road Films on June 1 over the sale of U.S. rights to “Playmobil,” which was announced May 12. That complaint asserted that the April 13 termination “was merely a pretext for breaking off negotiations so that the producer defendants could sell the distribution rights for the ‘Playmobil’ movie to another buyer.”
Open Road planned to release “Playmobil,” based on the German toy line, on Jan. 18, 2019. The film will be directed by Disney veteran Lino DiSalvo and produced by the team behind “The Little Prince” (Aton Soumache, Rassam and Alexis Vonarb), along with Axel Von Maydell and Borman.
It said at that point that the project was developed in cooperation with Pathé France and will be sold internationally by Lionsgate and Wild Bunch.