UPDATED 11/17, 5:57 p.m. ET: A lawyer for Quentin Tarantino told Deadline that “Miramax is wrong – plain and simple” for filing a “ham-fisted” lawsuit against the director.
“Quentin Tarantino’s contract is clear: he has the right to sell NFTs of his hand-written script for Pulp Fiction and this ham-fisted attempt to prevent him from doing so will fail,” Bryan Freedman, a partner at Freedman & Taitelman LLP, told the publication. “But Miramax’s callous decision to disclose confidential information about its filmmakers’ contracts and compensation will irreparably tarnish its reputation long after this case is dismissed.”
See original story below.
After announcing the “Tarantino NFT Collection” earlier this month, Quentin Tarantino is being sued by film studio Miramax over the project.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the embattled studio, which produced many of Tarantino’s films including Pulp Fiction, says they retain the rights to many of his most iconic films, and that Tarantino ignored the company’s “cease-and-desist” notice that was sent following the announcement.
“Tarantino’s conduct has forced Miramax to bring this lawsuit against a valued collaborator in order to enforce, preserve, and protect its contractual and intellectual property rights relating to one of Miramax’s most iconic and valuable film properties,” Miramax wrote in its suit. “Left unchecked, Tarantino’s conduct could mislead others into believing Miramax is involved in his venture. And it could also mislead others into believing they have the rights to pursue similar deals or offerings, when in fact Miramax holds the rights needed to develop, market, and sell NFTs relating to its deep film library.”
Elsewhere in the complaint, as viewed by Complex, Miramax argues that being kept “out of the loop” about the project is “particularly problematic” because of a previous granting and assigning of “nearly all of his rights to Pulp Fiction.” Included as an exhibit in the filing is Tarantino’s original contract for the film, complete with a rundown of then-possible casting decisions, including multiple options for each character.
The collection is being launched in collaboration with SCRT Labs and the Secret Network, and together with Tarantino, the trio is attempting to create an NFT for Pulp Fiction that will include “secret” materials, including a previously unseen script, that would only be visible to the buyer. Tarantino’s attorneys wrote in response to Miramax that the NFT project was well within the filmmaker’s rights. According to a copy of Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction contract first obtained by THR, the filmmaker retains some rights to the project including “soundtrack album, music publishing, live performance, print publication interactive media, spinoff rights,” and more.
But according to Bart Williams, who is representing Miramax, the company doesn’t think NFTs fall into any of these categories. “This group chose to recklessly, greedily, and intentionally disregard the agreement that Quentin signed instead of following the clear legal and ethical approach of simply communicating with Miramax about his proposed ideas,” Williams said in a statement to THR. “Miramax will defend all of its rights in regard to its library, including rights relating to NFTs, and will not allow Quentin’s representatives to deceive others into believing they have the authority to make similar deals in violation of the rights agreements they signed.”