8:22am PT by Ashley Cullins
'John Wick' Producer Challenges Lender's Claim in Bankruptcy
Two production companies attached to the original John Wick film have declared bankruptcy, and it's sparked a new fight in a long-gestating legal battle with a lender.
According to the filing, MJW FIlms formed J Wick Productions for the financing and production of the 2014 Keanu Reeves-led film John Wick. MJW owns half of J Wick, and a Michigan-based investor named Sam Eyde owns the other half.
MJW turned to Michael Singer for a short-term $235,000 loan because of a funding shortfall on another film called Stuck, according to the complaint. Now, J Wick claims Singer is trying to use that loan to make a $2.3 million claim against both MJW and J Wick.
"On information and belief, Singer is motivated by ill-will toward one of the principals of MJW (which he has indiscriminately imputed to J Wick, other affiliates of MJW, and all of their creditors and investors)," states the Monday filing. "Singer’s aim is to strip J Wick and its legitimate creditors and interest holders from realizing recovery from revenues that are otherwise due to J Wick from the revenues of the film John Wick."
Singer sued MJW and its CEO Michael Witherill in 2014, according to the filing, resulting in a settlement under which MJW and Witherill paid Singer $700,000 to satisfy the Stuck loan and another previous film loan between Singer and Witherill that didn't involved MJW. They weren't able to pay, and Singer was awarded a $2 million judgment pursuant to their agreement. In 2016, Singer sued again in an effort to enforce that judgment.
On Oct. 18, the court ordered MJW to foreclose its interest in J Wick. On Oct. 22, J Wick and MJW each declared bankruptcy. Now J Wick is asking an Arizona bankruptcy court to determine the extent and validity of Singer's claim and asking it to enforce a stay of the lender's lawsuit. MJW on Monday filed a parallel action.
Read J Wick's full filing below.