What’s the one thing that can destroy both a yellow-skinned family and a sympathetic serial killer? Money. According to reports, contract disputes between the networks and casts of both The Simpsons and Dexter have put the future of each show in serious jeopardy.

In regards to The Simpsons, Fox executives have said they won’t renew the show for a 24th season unless the six primary voice actors, who make about $8 million each per year, cut their salaries by 45%. Then there’s Dexter. Showtime and its star Michael C. Hall have reached a contract impasse that could make this season, which just returned with record numbers, its last. We have more details on each show and dispute after the break. Read More »

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Sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison is suing New Regency over Andrew Niccol‘s In Time, claiming that the film is a ripoff of his story “‘Repent, Harlequin!’ Said the Ticktockman.” Ellison has a reputation for being lawsuit-happy — in the past, he’s successfully sued to get a credit on The Terminator after claiming the movie was based on episodes of Outer Limits that he had written, and has also had brushes with AOL and ABC. More details after the jump.

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Want to make family movies and have $625 million laying around? Then you can partner with former Disney executive Dick Cook and create your own studio. The former head of Disney, who was replaced in 2009 by Rich Ross, is reportedly “soliciting investors, including private-equity firms, hedge funds and wealthy individuals” to get money to start a new company which would, like Disney, focus on the lucrative family film business. Is this the first news is what will soon be the next major film studio? We’ll have to wait and see. Thanks to Bloomberg (via The Wrap) for the news.

Look at the box office receipts for even a moderately successful animated film and you know animation studios are becoming Hollywood mega powers. Even five years ago when Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion, it was pretty evident that if your company made quality animation, you had a a pretty steady job. Today’s news shines a light on both ends of that equation.

First there’s DreamWorks Animation, the people behind the Shrek and Kung Fu Panda movies, who have just made the bold move to tell their distribution partner Paramount they would not be working together after next year. Then there’s Robert ZemeckisImageMovers, a company that all but died after the flop Mars Needs Moms (above), which might have found a new home at Universal. Read more about each story after the jump. Read More »

When The Hangover Part II comes to Blu-ray and DVD in December, a major running joke could be totally different. There is an ongoing lawsuit between between Warner Bros. and tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill, the man who designed Mike Tyson‘s famous face tattoo referenced in the film. According to The Hollywood Reporter, if the lawsuit isn’t settled, the studio plans to digitally remove Ed Helms‘ Tyson tattoo from the packaging and film itself. Read More »

The Seventies provided some of the greatest dramas of all time. Films like The Godfather, Taxi Driver, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Network remain as dramatic today as they were then. In that time, though, film historians have uncovered much of the behind the scenes drama that happened on these classic films and, in some cases, it’s better than what happened on screen.

The latest case of this is a claim by Robert Redford that legendary, Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman didn’t actually write All The President’s Men, Alan J. Pakula‘s multiple Oscar-winner starring Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, two Washington Post reporters who eventually blew the lid off the Watergate scandal.

In Michael Feeney Callan‘s new biography on Redford called Robert Redford: The Biography, Redford tells a story of how he and Pakula spent a month rewriting Goldman’s script before shooting. Is he telling the truth? Another piece of investigative journalism says “No.” Read More »

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Would you want to see a Superman movie where he can’t wear his iconic costume? It could happen. Variety printed a fascinating article Friday about how the legal rights behind the Man of Steel could result in the biggest severing of the character since he met Doomsday. This doesn’t affect the current film; that Zack Snyder movie will be moving along as planned. But if it doesn’t succeed, another origin story could be impossible. Basically, come 2013, the rights to key elements of Superman break into two where the heirs of the character’s original creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, retain elements such as his costume – red cape and boots, blue leotard – plus his ability to “leap tall buildings in a single bound” while DC Comics will keep the rights to most of the villains and the ability to fly.

How is that even possible and what does it mean for the future of the franchise? We try and make sense of the legal jargon after the break. Read More »

Usually it’s ink on a page that can make or break a movie, not ink on a face. In the case of The Hangover Part II though, the tattoo on Ed Helms‘ face could pose yet another problem for the sure-to-be blockbuster sequel. S. Victor Whitmill, the man who designed Mike Tyson‘s famous face tattoo which the film is obviously referencing, is asking for an injunction that would stop Warner Bros. from releasing the film because he holds a trademark on the design. Read more after the break. Read More »

Will A Lawsuit Kill ‘The Crow’?

A battle is brewing over The Crow. Producer Edward R. Pressman has been working for over a year to assemble a new Crow film with Relativity Media. Of late, Bradley Cooper has been in early talks to star with Juan Carlos Fresnadillo directing.

But Harvey Weinstein has entered the picture, claiming that he has a contract “signed by everybody” that gives The Weinsteins worldwide distribution rights for The Crow. TWC has filed a lawsuit against Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media to stop any attempt to see distribution rights to other parties. What effect will this have on the film? Read More »

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