August 01, 2012 2:09pm PT by Matthew Belloni
MGM Settling 'Raging Bull 2' Lawsuit; Jake LaMotta Movie Changing Title to 'The Bronx Bull' (Exclusive)
MGM is resolving its legal fight with ex-boxer Jake LaMotta over a planned sequel to Raging Bull.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the studio, which owns rights to the 1980 Martin Scorsese-directed classic starring Robert De Niro as LaMotta, has agreed to drop its lawsuit and LaMotta and producers will change the title of their movie from Raging Bull 2 to The Bronx Bull, which was LaMotta's nickname.
Producers also will issue a press release publicly disassociating the project from the MGM movie, according to sources. In exchange, the suit will be dismissed.
MGM sued in early July claiming that the planned low-budget follow-up would be based on LaMotta's life, despite the fact that the boxer sold his life rights to the studio in 1976. That deal gives LaMotta, now 90, the right to pursue a sequel, but MGM maintains a right of first refusal, and the studio was claiming that it could use that right to veto a project called Raging Bull 2.
So now the project will continue, but the name and association will change.
We've reached out to MGM and the producers for comment and will update with a response.
UPDATE: As we reported, MGM and Sunset Pictures producer Dahlia Waingort have issued the following statement:
“The parties have amicably reached a resolution of their pending litigation, pursuant to which production of a film based upon certain events in the life of Jake LaMotta will proceed under the working title The Bronx Bull. That film is not related in any way to the 1980 motion picture entitled Raging Bull, and MGM is not associated with the film in any respect. Neither party will have any further statements regarding this matter.”
In addition, the lawsuit dismissal has been filed.
MGM was represented in the case by attorneys Richard Kendall and Robert Klieger.