July 18, 2013 4:00pm PT by Alex Ben Block
'The Crow' Producer Files $1 Mil Lawsuit Claiming He Was Cut Out of Planned Remake
Producer Jeff Most filed a lawsuit Wednesday charging that his contract relating to The Crow franchise of movies and TV shows has been breached by Edward R. Pressman Film Corp., Relativity Media, Sammyjack Productions and others, and that he is entitled to at least $1 million in compensation.
The suit filed in L.A. Superior Court by Most and his Jeff Most Productions says he was a producer on the four Crow movies, which started with a 1994 film starring the late Brandon Lee, as well as the Crow TV series.
Most says he has been denied his contractual rights in regard to a planned fifth Crow movie in preproduction at Relativity Media, which reportedly has a budget of $70 million and is to star Bradley Cooper and be directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo.
In April 2011, the suit notes, The Weinstein Co. filed a suit as well against Relativity over the fifth Crow, saying it held the distribution rights. In January 2012, according to news reports, Relativity and Weinstein announced an out-of-court settlement which, according to a statement at the time, that meant they would work on the new Crow movie together.
That still didn’t help Most, who says in the suit that it has been four years since he and his company have gotten a profit-sharing statement for the movies they did make, as required by their deal. They say they also should have been notified when the distribution rights were transferred to Relativity.
Most says in his filing that he has a right of first negotiation to serve as producer of the film for a salary of at least $400,000, and that it is a pay-or-play deal, meaning he must be paid even if they elect to use a different producer.
The suit says that, in May 2012, Most got a response to his queries from Relativity’s business and legal affairs department, which seemed to say they would fulfill his contract and negotiate with him to act as producer. However, in the year since, they say that there have been no negotiations and now Relativity is no longer responding to him.
Most says he has been damaged and his contract has been breached. He also alleges fraud and deceit with intentional interference with his contractual rights, and he is demanding a full accounting of everything the movie has made and he may be owed.
There was no immediate response to requests for comment by Pressman. A spokesman for Relativity Media said they have not yet seen the lawsuit so they have no comment at this time.