Lantern Gives Up Rights to 'Hotel Mumbai' to Settle Producer's Weinstein Fraud Claim

Dev Patel in Hotel Mumbai - Still - H 2017
Courtesy of Arclight Films

After making a successful $310 million bid to acquire the assets of The Weinstein Co. in an auction overseen by a bankruptcy court, Lantern Entertainment is walking away from any right to distribute Hotel Mumbai.

The film, about the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, that left more than 160 people dead, was listed as one of the top unreleased motion pictures in the sale of TWC assets. The movie stars Armie Hammer, Dev Patel, Jason Isaacs and Nazanin Boniadi.

Once TWC declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the fallout of sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the producer of Hotel Mumbai filed an adversary case that alleges Weinstein obtained a license through fraudulent means. Hotel Mumbai Pty Ltd. says it was promised delivery of the picture by April 30 plus $10 million in marketing and received neither. The producer also said that TWC's officers knew about Weinstein's sordid history of sexual abuse and that the issue "was effectively a ticking time bomb that would decimate TWC when the full extent of Harvey Weinstein’s illegal actions became known to the general public."

"Had HMPL known, at any time, before or during the negotiations for the License Agreement of the TWC Cover-Up and the extent of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged crimes and misconduct, it never would have entered into the License Agreement or allowed the Picture to be distributed by TWC or to be associated in any way with the now discredited TWC brand," states the complaint.

On Friday, the parties sought the judge's approval of a settlement.

Lantern is relinquishing its interest in the picture and won't have to spend $10 million on marketing anymore. In return, it will receive a confidential sum of money and the litigation over the film will draw to a close.

That is, assuming Lantern closes its acquisition of TWC assets.

Six weeks since being named the winning bidder, Lantern and TWC debtors still haven't completed the sale. Court papers say it will happen by the end of the month, but there still are quarrels lingering about what assets are to be assumed.