In what will likely result in a change of title and/or some big monies being paid out to MGM, the studio has issued a lawsuit against Jake LaMotta and the producers of the upcoming “Raging Bull 2”.
According to Deadline, MGM has the unofficial sequel to Martin Scorsese’s boxing epic on breach of contract and four other counts. They want the movie stopped, and want it to never see the light of day. As I said it, don’t expect that to happen… but do expect some kind of big win for MGM in this case.
MGM wants the courts to order production on Raging Bull 2, which is currently filming in LA, stopped. Additionally, the studio wants to make sure the indie movie never sees the light of day. MGM also wants compensatory damages and punitive and exemplary damages and more “awarded in an amount sufficient to punish the RB II defendants and to deter those who would commit or knowingly seek to profit from similar actions, now or in the future.” MGM alleges LaMotta had no right to allow RB II Productions the rights to his 1986 sequel book without first offering it to them. That comes from a 1976 agreement the boxer and co-author Peter Savage entered into with Chartoff-Winkler Productions. That agreement, which MGM is the successor-in-interest to, not only included his 1970 memoir but extended to any “owner-written sequel,” says the studio. MGM says that RB II has ignored the studio’s attempts to get them and LaMotta to comply with the 1976 agreement
MGM is claiming that the film, a low-budget pic starring William Forsythe as LaMotta, is selling itself on being a sequel to their Oscar Winning epic, but by doing so will tarnish the original’s reputation.