MGM Aiming To Knock Out ‘Raging Bull II’
The studio behind the original film is aiming to permanently bury this belated sequel.
While filming commenced a month ago on director Martin Guigui's Raging Bull II, MGM has only just stepped into the legal ring to stop production of the sequel to Martin Scorsese's 1980 Oscar-winning classic.
Claiming breach of contract, among many other things, the studio's chief complaint is that it inherited the rights of first refusal on any project stemming from a Jake LaMotta-penned sequel - a right that both the 91-year-old former boxer and the producers of the sequel have ignored.
MGM also argues that Raging Bull II - which has nothing to do with Scorsese or Robert De Niro - is "plainly intended to create confusion in the marketplace and to trade off the value" of the original. They add that this sequel if allowed to go ahead would "irreparably tarnish the value of the Picture and MGM's rights therein."
The currently-shooting sequel sees actor William Forsythe (who was recently seen playing mobster Manny Horvitz in Boardwalk Empire) step into the shoes of the anguished, legendary boxer years after his prime in the ring. Its Argentinean director Martin Guigui's previous credits include the little-seen Dennis Quaid thriller Beneath The Darkness and National Lampoon's Cattle Call, which suggest that the helmer doesn't have too much to lose making a sequel that looks sure to head straight to DVD should it survive its legal wrangles.