MGM, the studio that owns the rights to Martin Scorsese‘s Raging Bull film that won an Oscar for Robert DeNiro‘s portrayal of 1950s middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta, filed a complaint Tuesday against the 91-year-old fighter himself, as well as the production company behind the sequel (RB II Productions). Claiming that LaMotta had a contractual obligation to offer them the film rights to his follow-up book, 1986′s Raging Bull II, MGM wants a jury to shut down the in-production project. MGM also wants compensatory damages and punitive and exemplary damages and more “awarded in an amount sufficient to punish the RB II [Productions] defendants and to deter those who would commit or knowingly seek to profit from similar actions, now or in the future.”
In its complaint MGM also states that the Raging Bull 2 producers are “publicly associating the Sequel Picture” with the original Raging Bull. MGM claims that this “is plainly intended to create confusion in the marketplace and to trade off the value” of the Martin Scorsese-directed 1980 Oscar-nominated film. The studio, which owns United Artists, the studio that put out the original, says this will “irreparably tarnish the value of the Picture and MGM’s rights therein.”
Scorsese and Raging Bull star Robert DeNiro both have no involvement with the indie movie Raging Bull 2. The sequel is written and directed by Martin Guigui. William Forsythe of Boardwalk Empire will play the aging LaMotta and Mojean Aria will portray him as a younger man. Cloris Leachman, Penelope Ann Miller, Joe Mantegna, Tom Sizemore, and Paul Sorvina are also set to star. Click here to check out the first images from the movie.