Liongate Sues The Weinstein Co.
Thu, 05 Feb 2009 19:36:40
Lionsgate filed suit against the Weinstein Co. in Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday over the rights to Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire, which emerged as one of the critical darlings of last month's Sundance Festival. Lionsgate claims that TWC does not have "any right, title or interest" in the film, which features songbird Mariah Carey in the cast.
Lionsgate brought about the suit simply because TWC "threatened" to bring litigation over the theatrical rights to the film about an inner city girl from Harlem who is both overweight and illiterate but finds her fortunes change when she goes to a new school. The book was a best-seller upon its 2005 release. TWC had been trying to secure the film's rights, but the film caught so much heat during the festival that other distributors entered the picture. Lionsgate eventually nabbed the film's rights for approximately $5 million.
Lionsgate and TWC were trying to make a deal for the film, but the two sides couldn't come to terms over issues relating to international rights and profit sharing, so the deal fell through. The Lionsgate suit is a preemptive movement to dissuade TWC from trying to take legal action.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff