Lawsuit may result in sequel never seeing the light of day.
MGM has filed a lawsuit against former boxer Jake LaMotta and RB II Productions in a bid to stop production on Raging Bull II. The sequel to the 1980 Oscar-nominated film was set to be directed by Martin Guigui and star William Forsythe, Joe Mantegna and Paul Sorvino, but this development could throw a spanner in the works. The studio claims that it has an agreement with LaMotta that it has film rights to any owner-written sequel to his 1970 autobiography.
LaMotta wrote the sequel in 1986 and as a result, MGM has stepped in. The studio claims, “LaMotta is obligated to offer motion picture rights in the book to MGM before disposing of those rights to any third party.” The lawsuit also suggests that Raging Bull II is attempting to associate with the original movie “in a manner that is plainly calculated to create confusion in the marketplace and to trade off the value of the [original movie] and its associated goodwill, and that will irreparable tarnish the value” of the film. Not content with simply halting production, the studio is seeking damages which would make RB II Productions think twice before attempting something like this again. MGM hopes that the value of these damages would be an amount “sufficient to punish the RB II defendants and to deter those who would commit or knowingly seek to profit from similar actions, now or in the future.”
Jake LaMotta and RB II Productions are both listed as defendants in the lawsuit filed with the Superior Court of the State of California. MGM is seeking a jury trial lasting between three and five days for this particular matter.