Scorsese initially agreed to make the film back in 1990 after completion of Kundun, however, he then arranged to delay the film so that he could make The Departed, Shutter Island, and Hugo. Then, when Scorsese announced his next project as The Wolf of Wall Street, the production company hit him with a lawsuit for breach of contract.
Now we get to hear from the Scorsese camp regarding the issue. The following statement was recently released, showing just how much of a claim they feel Cecchi Gori Pictures has:
It is shocking to us that the lawyers for Cecchi Gori Pictures would file a suit pursuing such absurd claims considering the amicable working relationship existing between Martin Scorsese and the principals of Cecchi Gori Pictures.The claims asserted are completely contradicted by, inconsistent with, and contrary to the express terms of an agreement entered into by the parties last year.
The lawsuit filing on the eve of Mr. Scorsese starting another picture has all the earmarks of a media stunt.
Mr. Scorsese is confident that he will prevail in court should Cecchi Gori Pictures actually pursue this meritless action.
It appears that they are not too concerned about it, though it certainly would be interesting to know exactly what this agreement said and why the film hasn’t been made in the 22 years since it was initially agreed upon. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of finding funding for a film that doesn’t exactly sound like a commercial release.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the book, it tells the story of “Portuguese Jesuit missionaries who are sent to Japan to investigate reports of Christians persecuted and tortured by the Emperor of Japan.”
As for now, Scorsese is hard at work on The Wolf of Wall Street, which is expected to be in theaters sometime in 2013.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated as news of the lawsuit continues to develop.