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Martin Scorsese responds to 'meritless' lawsuit

Reps for Martin Scorsese called the  lawsuit filed against the director — which claims breach of written contract, intentional misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation around the filming of the movie Silence –  a “meritless action” and believe it has “all the earmarks of a media stunt.”

Below is Scorsese’s full statement in response to the filing:

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Martin Scorsese sued for breach of contract

Martin Scorsese has been sued for breach of written contract, intentional misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation by the production company behind Silence, a film project that Scorsese allegedly promised to direct and co-produce over two decades ago.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by EW, Cecchi Gori Pictures, a production company, claims they entered into an agreement with Scorsese and his production company, Sikelia Productions Inc., in 1990 to direct Silence, based on a Japanese novel, as his next feature-length movie after Kundun (1997). The Cecchi Gori Parties claim they’ve invested over $750,000 in the project.

“In 2004, Scorsese and Sikeila entered into further agreements to postpose Silence so that Scorsese could direct The Departed (2006), Shutter Island (2010), and Hugo (2011) before co-producing and directing Silence,” the court papers allege. “In those agreements, Scorsese/Sikelia agreed to pay substantial compensation and other valuable benefits, for the right to direct these three other films prior to Silence.” They also allege that Scorsese/Sikeila’s contractual obligations remain unfulfilled as to the film Hugo. READ FULL STORY

Shazaam! 'Hugo' author's 'The Houdini Box' may hit the big screen

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Smoke! Mirrors! Shazaam! Another Harry Houdini flick may be on the horizon.

Chernin Entertainment has snatched up the feature rights to Brian Selznick’s 1991 book The Houdini Box, a representative for Chernin has confirmed to EW.com. The young adult novel is about a boy, Victor, who aspires to be a magician and meets famed illusionist Houdini. He later receives a locked box of secrets from his hero.

Selznick scribed the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which Martin Scorsese adapted into his award-winning kids adventure film Hugo. Chernin also produced Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Considering the sweetly bombastic pairing of Selznick’s words translated for Hugo with Scorsese’s direction, it will be interesting to see who snags the coveted role of director for the film.

Read more:
Gary Ross’ next movie may be ‘Houdini’

'The Artist' and others enjoy post-Oscar box office bumps, but will online streaming be the next sign of success?

THE-ARTIST-GOODMAN

America has all but recovered from the zeitgeist circus that is the Academy Awards (which this year featured a performance by an actual circus!), but the effect that Oscar has on moviegoers is still being felt at the box office, with several winning films picking up momentum after Hollywood’s big night.

Consider this: In the four days following the Oscars ceremony, The Artist – which took home Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director and two other awards – rounded out its week of box office grosses up a healthy 14 percent from the week before, adding 158 theaters to its 966 and grossing $4.3 million (according to Box Office Mojo). Then this weekend rolled around, and a whopping 790 additional theaters later, the Jean Dujardin-led silent charmer has finally cracked the top 10 with a $3.6 million gross in 1,756 theaters.  READ FULL STORY

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