Remember how mad you all got when we told you that a “Raging Bull 2” that has nothing to do with Martin Scorsese or Robert De Niro was getting made? Well, it seems like that’s how pissed MGM got as well when the studio heard that the folks behind the upcoming indie were intending to make it seem as though this was an officially sanction sequel instead of a low budget standalone.
Deadline is reporting that MGM — the parent company of United Artists, which distributed 1980’s “Raging Bull” — has leveled a lawsuit against LaMotta and RB II Productions in an effort to stop “Raging Bull 2’s” production and prevent it from ever being distributed. According to MGM, LaMotta violated his agreement with United Artists by allowing RB II Productions to start work on this follow-up to the first film.
Their seven-page complaint attests that LaMotta was supposed to have offered the rights to his sequel book to them before allowing RB II Productions to set to work on it. That’s all part of a 1976 agreement LaMotta made with Chartoff-Winkler Productions, which MGM is “successor-in-interest to.” Since RB II has ignored them in their efforts to get this issue rectified, MGM has taken the production company to court.
Of course, there’s also the fact that RB II producers are “publicly associating the Sequel Picture” with “Raging Bull,” which MGM claims “is plainly intended to create confusion in the marketplace and to trade off the value [of the original].” The complaint goes on to say that this will “irreparably tarnish the value of the Picture and MGM’s rights therein.”
We’ll see how this all plays out, but MGM is saying that they want to be paid damages “in 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.” We don’t know who in their right mind would go forward with an idea like this anyways, but hopefully being stopped in their tracks will be enough to deter RB II Productions from ever going down this route again.