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MGM has reached a settlement with former boxer Jake LaMotta and the producers of Raging Bull II to change the title of the film to The Bronx Bull.
Early last month, MGM filed a lawsuit against LaMotta and RB II Productions in an attempt to halt production on the indie film. MGM did not want the film associated with Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning 1980 classic Raging Bull and believed that the sequel could have an impact on the film’s stature if Raging Bull II is associated with the original film.
MGM also said that LaMotta, now 91, had signed an agreement with the studio in 1976 that gave it first refusal for all projects related to his life story. However, the studio claimed that LaMotta never approached them about making the sequel first.
On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the producers and LaMotta have agreed to change the name of the film to The Bronx Bull, which was LaMotta’s nickname during his career.
The producers issued a statement that publicly dissociates The Bronx Bull from Raging Bull and that the suit has been dropped.
The statement from MGM and Sunset Pictures producer Dahlia Waingort reads, “The parties have amicably reached a resolution of their pending litigation, pursuant to which production of a film based upon certain events in the life of Jake LaMotta will proceed under the working title The Bronx Bull. That film is not related in any way to the 1980 motion picture entitled Raging Bull, and MGM is not associated with the film in any respect. Neither party will have any further statements regarding this matter.”
The original 1980 film starred Robert De Niro as LaMotta and earned him an Oscar. William Forsythe will be playing LaMotta in the new film.