January 25, 2013 3:42pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Judge to Decide Whether 'Godzilla' Producer Dispute Goes to Arbitration
A small update in the legal dispute between Legendary Pictures and the producers of its upcoming monster reboot Godzilla: Attorneys for both sides have agreed that a judge will decide whether the case goes to arbitration or will be handled in a public court.
As The Hollywood Reporter has reported, Roy Lee, Dan Lin and Doug Davidson are fighting with Legendary after the studio decided to boot them from the Godzilla project in a dispute over money. Legendary claims the producers have done little work on the Gareth Edwards-directed movie, which is set for release by Warner Bros. in 2014; the producers say they brought Godzilla to Legendary and have an agreement with the studio that they will be included and paid. Here's more backstory on the case.
Legendary claims that a 2011 draft contract with the producers includes an arbitration clause, which would require the dispute to play out in private, rather than public. But the producers want to proceed in court, where the prospect of internal Legendary information becoming public might give them some leverage. They argue that the 2011 agreement never was signed and thus should not compel arbitration.
Now JAMS, the private arbitration company, has notified the two sides that it will allow Superior Court Judge Abraham Kahn to decide whether to exercise jurisdiction over the dispute or allow it to be heard in a private forum.
The producers are represented by litigator Larry Stein. Legendary is repped by Dale Kinsella and Gregory Korn.