More On

MGM sues over Raging Bull sequel

Studio calls follow-up film a “low-budget B-movie”

Here’s the truth: Most sequels don’t turn out to be on par with “The Godfather: Part II” or “The Empire Strikes Back.” So it’s not surprising that a sequel to one of the greatest movies of all time, according to the American Film Institute, would draw controversy.

On Tuesday, MGM Studios filed suit to stop the making of “Raging Bull II”, a sequel to the critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning 1980 film “Raging Bull,” which told the story of the rise and fall of boxer Jake LaMotta.

According to court documents, LaMotta was supposed to offer MGM the rights of first refusal for a film version of his 1986 book, “Raging Bull II.” The studio says LaMotta breached that contract when he entered into an agreement allowing RB II Productions to produce the sequel. MGM said in its complaint that RB II refused to comply with its demands to stop production.

The studio believes the sequel will “irreparably tarnish” the value of the first “Raging Bull” film, and it calls the second film a “low-budget B-movie.”

Raging Bull” was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Robert De Niro, but neither is involved with “Raging Bull II.”

This is the second suit this year involving a sequel with a De Niro connection. In February, Paramount Pictures sued the estate of Mario Puzo, author of “The Godfather,” to stop publication of a second sequel titled “The Godfather’s Revenge.” De Niro had a starring role as the young Vito Corleone in “The Godfather II.”

Read Reuters and the Wall Street Journal law blog for more about this story.




Cathleen Flahardy

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.