The case of writer-director Tony Leech and producer Brian Inerfeld against the Weinstein company over the studio’s handling of the CG-animated movie Escape From Planet Earth seems to keep generating news. According to a story in The Hollywood Reporter, Leech and Inerfeld will get to see the latest version of the movie at a private screening hosted by the Weinsteins.
The $50 million suit, which was filed on the eve of the 2011 Oscars, claimed that the Weinsteins were “two out-of-control control movie executives … who sabotaged what should have been a highly profitable movie through a potent combination of hubris, incompetence, profligate spending and contempt for contractual obligations.”
In return, The Weinstein Co. noted that Leech and Inerfeld were “vindictive Hollywood talent.” The Weinsteins then announced in August that the film would come out in 2013 and would be directed by Cal Brunker from a story written by “Brunker and Bob Barlen based on an original screenplay by Tony Leech and Cory Edwards.”
Last week, the parties revealed in court papers that they were in the midst of settlement discussions. Leech, Inerfeld and their lawyers are getting a chance to see a draft version of the film at a private, confidential screening arranged by the Weinsteins. The indie studio plans to release the film in 2013. That’s why the original director and producer are given the chance to make a claim for credits.
The new version of the film is directed by Callan Brunker, who was a storyboard artist on 9, Despicable Me and Horton Hears a Who! With animation produced by Canada’s Rainmaker Entertainment (which was just sold to China’s Xing Xing), the space saga follows the adventures of astronaut Scorch Supernova who finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet. The toon’s voice talent includes Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba and Sarah Jessica Parker, as well as James Gandolfini and Jane Lynch.
After the private screening, Leech and Inerfeld will be able to determine how much of this new version resembles the movie they had handed over to the Weinsteins before the dispute
Two years ago, the Weinsteins were also sued by Kanbar Entertainment, the animation company behind the 2005 feature Hoodwinked, for delaying the release of the film’s sequel.