Well-known movie studio MGM, which owns the rights to the Academy-Award winning 1980 film “Raging Bull” which starred Robert DeNiro as former boxer Jake LaMotta, recently agreed to cease its legal efforts to stop the release of a sequel to the movie. MGM had initiated a lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court last month alleging breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and unfair competition. MGM alleged that Jake LaMotta was obligated to offer MGM first crack at motion picture rights for the book based on his life but that he instead approached another studio without MGM’s knowledge.
MGM had tried to prevent the release of the sequel lest it tarnish the reputation of the original masterpiece. MGM only agreed to drop the lawsuit against Jake LaMotta on the condition that the company producing the sequel, Sunset Pictures, change the title from “Raging Bull II” to “The Bronx Bull”-its current working title and Mr. LaMotta’s boxing nickname. Which title do you think is catchier?
The sequel will pick up where the original left off-with the continuing life story of Jake LaMotta. It will star William Forsythe as the boxer this time around. Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the boxer in the original movie. Filming is currently underway in L.A. Also as part of the settlement agreement, the producers of the sequel have to issue a news release disassociating the sequel from the original movie, something they have apparently already done.