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There’s been a lot of news on the Godzilla front this week. Legendary Pictures got into a legal battle with producers which the company hopes to drop from the credits. In addition to this, Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont joined the project to rewrite the script. Also, Kick-Ass actor Aaron Johnson is reportedly being considered for the lead role of the mega monster movie.
Back on Monday, Deadline confirmed that Darabont was joining the project to look over Max Borenstein’s latest script. The site had also reported that Pacific Rim producer Mary Parent was in talks to be one of the producers on the film. Her Disruption banner is based at Paramount.
HitFix had reported Sunday night that Dan Lin and Roy Lee, who are based at Warner Bros., were departing Godzilla.
Today, Variety confirmed that Legendary is taking Lin, Lee and Doug Davison to court, asking a judge to let the studio take their names off the film. The studio claimed that the trio threatened to sue them in December, when Legendary first tried to take their names off the film. Legendary claims that their contributions to the project - including screenwriting and other ideas - have not been used.
“Defendants, including through their counsel, have rejected Legendary's notification that their producing services are not desired and that their compensation under the agreement is limited to a $25,000 development fee,” Legendary said in its complaint. “Defendants have threatened to file suit against Legendary, even going so far as to threaten to 'seek a TRO' to prevent the production of a motion picture in which they (defendants) have no copyright interest whatsoever -- a claim that would be preempted by the Copyright Act as a matter of law.”
Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are still on the production team. Lin and Lee had been attached since 2010, when the studio first said it was rebooting the iconic Toho monster franchise. Gareth Edwards is directing the film, which is still set for release on May 16, 2014.
Amidst the potential producer battle, Deadline reported today that Johnson, who will star in Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall, is Legendary’s top choice for the lead. Deadline notes that the Savages actor doesn’t want to sign on until Darabont’s script polishing is done.