1:35pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Quentin Tarantino Says Weinstein Co. Owes Him Millions in Royalties
The Weinstein Co. is currently taking bids for its assets, and the winner will be putting up at least $310 million, but famed director Quentin Tarantino says none of his agreements should be assigned because he's owed massive royalties.
In court papers filed on Monday, Tarantino was among various stars posting objections and reserving rights.
Tarantino has had a long-running relationship with Harvey Weinstein, whose alleged sexual misconduct caused the downfall of the once-prestigious indie studio. Tarantino's work with Weinstein dates back to the 1990s Miramax days of Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, but his most immediate concern is with the four films he directed for TWC in the past decade. According to bankruptcy papers, royalties are owed for Grindhouse/Death Proof, Inglorious Basterds, Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight.
"By and through the Sale Motion and the Notice of Assumption, the Debtors assert that there are no defaults to cure in order to assume the Agreements," writes Tarantino's lawyers. "[H]owever, there are numerous uncured monetary and non-monetary defaults under the Agreements that must be cured as a condition to any assumption or assignment of the Agreements."
Tarantino wants $300,000 for Grindhouse, $575,000 for Inglorious Basterds, $1.25 million for Django and nearly $2.5 million for Hateful Eight. He is demanding an accounting for each of these films as well.
As for the Miramax titles, he acknowledges that TWC doesn't appear to have right, title or interest to those pictures, but nevertheless, he's reserving his ability to assert objections with more information.
Tarantino is not alone to make objections in Delaware Bankruptcy Court on Monday.
Leonardo DiCaprio is also contesting how the winning bidder would have to pay nothing to cure a default under his acting agreement for Django Unchained.
Meanwhile, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams are fighting over money from the film Southpaw.
Jennifer Lawrence says she hasn't been given enough information concerning the proposed $102,623 amount to cure a contract breach for her deal over Silver Linings Playbook. Her attorneys want the opportunity to inspect the company's books and records to look at revenues generated by the award-winning film and assess her profit participation.
In fact, many actors are demanding more information about back-end profits due. Meryl Streep for August: Osage County and Brad Pitt for Killing Them Softly are just two examples of stars in line for contingent compensation who complain about the lack of accounting statements and the debtor's proposal that their agreements be transferred through the auction without anything thrown their way to cure contract defaults.
Other big names making their objections known in court on Monday include author Stephen King, Heidi Klum, Bill Murray, Julia Roberts, the estate of Wes Craven, Lin-Manuel Miranda's In the Heights, John Cusack, David O. Russell and even Weinstein himself.
Plus, the court docket provides many more revelations from a $1.25 million settlement over the lawsuit concerning timing of the release of The Founder and Gold to word of a new agreement in principle with Netflix. According to the streamer's papers, Netflix will consent to assignment of its contracts so long as output periods are deemed as expired and the debtors pay nearly $2 million to cure defaults related to the sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the output deal.
As for the objection from Weinstein, his lawyers write, "In this case, the Debtors are attempting to sell assets free and clear of any interest at the earliest stage of their bankruptcy cases and the Court should carefully scrutinize the Debtors heightened burden of proving the elements necessary for authorization, i.e., that the debtor’s estate has an interest in the assets to be sold, because the timing and pace of the proposed sale could trample the rights of parties that are the actual owners of property the Debtors purport to sell."