Attempting a sequel to Raging Bull seems like a thankless task, but making Raging Bull II just got even more complicated. MGM, the studio that owns the rights to Martin Scorsese’s classic 1980 film that won an Oscar for Robert DeNiro’s portrayal of 1950’s middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta, filed a complaint Tuesday against the 91-year-old fighter himself, as well as the production company behind the sequel. Claiming that LaMotta had a contractual obligation to offer them the film rights to his follow-up book, 1986’s Raging Bull II, MGM wants a jury to shut down the in-production project. “LaMotta and the RBII Defendants are publicly associating the Sequel Picture with the [original] in a manner that is plainly calculated to create confusion in the marketplace and to trade off the value of the [original],” MGM’s attorney claimed in their complaint, according to documents posted on Deadline.
Scorsese and DeNiro are not involved in the sequel in any way. William Forsythe (Boardwalk Empire), instead, plays the aging LaMotta and Mojean Aria plays him as a younger man. Cloris Leachman, Penelope Ann Miller, Joe Mantagne, Tom Sizemore, and Paul Sorvina are also set to star.
Martin Scorsese on the ‘Raging Bull’ sequel