A legal battle is underway between Relativity Media and The Weinsteins over attempts to make a film based on The Crow and it looks like it's gonna get ugly. Earlier this month, producer Edward R. Pressman had seen his year long development on a new version of James O' Barr's comic series The Crow at Relativity finally see results when he hired Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) to direct and then Bradley Cooper entered talks to star, the actor even going so far as to flying out to Spain to prove how much he wanted the part. That Crow looked like it was taking off swiftly to film in the fall until Harvey Weinstein stepped in and claimed he had a contract in his desk drawer that has been "written and signed by everybody" which gives him the sole worldwide distribution rights to any film based on The Crow. Deadline (written by a particularly pleased with herself Nikki Finke who thrives, a little disturbingly, on this stuff) have the full story and it's been suggested Relativity were sounding out a potential distributor that wasn't Harvey or Bob and because of this, The Weinsteins have now filed a lawsuit against Relativity's head Ryan Kavanaugh. Bert Fields, legal rep of The Weinsteins said;
"Mr. Kavanaugh was not going to honor that contract. Apparently, he's going to sell these rights to others. He made a bunch of threats... Some people may submit to that kind of arrogant conduct, but we're not going to do it. If anybody tries to buy these distribution rights in The Crow, they are buying nothing but a lawsuit and they will get sued."The original 1994 film was distributed by The Weinsteins at Miramax and grossed over $50 million domestically. Will this lawsuit block the film completely? Well we are venturing into unknown territory somewhat here as both Kavanagh and Harvey Weinstein have MASSIVE ego's and it's hard to see either of them backing down over the issue and there's a chance it could go all the way to court which would certainly block a fall shoot. Most likely The Crow won't now fly this year unless one party backs down and a deal can be made. Relativity then issued their own statement;
This is yet another typical litigation stunt from the Weinsteins who have a long history of threatening law suits with the sole purpose of intimidation. If served, Relativity will seek immediate dismissal. While we expect these types of antics from the Weinsteins, we are shocked that a lawyer of Mr. Fields caliber would make such false, reckless and intentionally harmful statements to the press about Relativity and Mr. Kavanaugh. We intend to seek appropriate remedies for this misconduct. Clearly this is a feeble attempt to create a press stir and a malicious effort to interfere with Relativitys development of the project.