Celebrated Hollywood film maker Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, Django Unchained; the list goes on) has worked with multiple studio collaborators over the years, chiefly now-notorious ex-mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Tarantino’s long-time collaboration with Weinstein has largely been via the independent studio TWC established by Weinstein Cos. some years back. That entity is now on the selling block, owing to Weinstein’s well-known personal problems and related business fallout.
Actually, the sale -- to Lantern Entertainment -- is at an advanced stage, with a bankruptcy creditors’ committee recently agreeing to buyout terms.
Tarantino is solidly not on board with that. In fact, the director says that the pending deal does not consider an existing arrangement he has with TWC, which will likely not be honored by Lantern in any new contract.
As a result, Tarantino has thrown a wrench into the deal by recently filing an objection to it in bankruptcy court. His pleading asserts that he must be paid royalties of $4.3 million owed by TWC before any transaction is finalized.
Tarantino stresses that his foray into litigation is neither an ill-considered nor premature move. He says, rather, that it is a last-resort strategy to collect what he is owed that follows unsuccessful attempts to communicate effectively with either of the contracting studios.
Tarantino’s expressed fear is that Lantern will simply ignore TWC’s existing royalty duties. A media report on the litigation spat notes that the new deal “would grant Lantern control of the contracts [Tarantino] has with TWC without needing to resolve current defaults or get his consent.”
Tarantino’s formal objection could scarcely be clearer: He wants his money -- now.