‘Sin City’ Sequel Producers Sue The Weinstein Co. Over Alleged Distribution, Marketing Shorts

Read on: Deadline.

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Gary Barber’s Spyglass Media Group Lays Off 15, Closes Lantern Entertainment’s NYC Office (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Gary Barber’s Spyglass Media Group has shuttered the New York offices of Lantern Entertainment and laid off 15 people in all divisions of what had been The Weinstein Company.

The New York office was closed to streamline operations out of the company’s Los Angeles headquarters, according to a spokesperson for Spyglass Media Group, which this month announced a partnership through which Barber’s Spyglass will own and control all of Lantern Entertainment’s current assets — including the remnants of The Weinstein Company that Texas-based Lantern Capital acquired in bankruptcy last July for $289 million.

Spyglass Media Group, in which Lantern is also a majority investor, is primarily focused on developing, producing, financing and acquiring premium content worldwide for theatrical, network, cable and streaming platforms.

Also Read: Lantern Entertainment Partners With Gary Barber to Launch Spyglass Media Group

Thanks to the partnership with Lantern co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic, as well as with strategic investors Eagle Pictures and Cineworld Group, Spyglass is now home to more than 250 film library titles, scripted and unscripted television series.

The newly formed company is now in the process of putting in place and executing its business plan, as well as evaluating the company’s operations.

When Lantern acquired TWC, it held on to and kept operations in both TWC’s old New York and Los Angeles offices. At the time, the company said it would look for new office space but likely keep a home base in both cities.

After the TWC estate fired the remaining 70 employees at TWC ahead of the deal closing, Lantern re-hired roughly two-thirds of those employees back.

Also Read: Gary Barber’s Spyglass Media Group Hires Cheryl Rodman as Chief Legal Officer

Now that Spyglass is steering the ship, the company is planning to ramp up hiring for senior leadership positions in hopes of positioning Spyglass for growth.

Since launching March 13, Spyglass has hired former MGM executives Cheryl Rodman to serve as chief legal officer and Kristin Cotich as the company’s executive vice president of worldwide communications. More executive hires are on the way, and Spyglass plans to increase headcount and create new positions to be based out of the L.A. office.

Jon Levine contributed to this reporting.

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Gary Barber’s Spyglass Media Group Hires Cheryl Rodman as Chief Legal Officer

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Gary Barber announced on Thursday that he’s brought on former colleague Cheryl Rodman to serve as chief legal officer for his latest venture, Spyglass Media Group.

Rodman’s hiring comes a day after Spyglass CEO Gary Barber and Lantern Entertainment co-presidents Andy Mitchell and Milos Brajovic partnered to launch the independent content company. The new venture will develop, finance and produce premium content for theatrical, network, cable and streaming platforms as well as acquire assets and explore strategic opportunities.

In her role, Rodman will oversee all legal matters and business & legal affairs for the company, including corporate matters and strategic growth initiatives. She will report to Barber.

Also Read: Lantern Entertainment Partners With Gary Barber to Launch Spyglass Media Group

“I have had the pleasure of working alongside Cheryl at several companies over the years and always relied on her measured and savvy counsel,” Barber said in a statement. “Cheryl is a powerhouse whose extensive legal experience, negotiating skills, and business acumen will serve our company well as we continue to build Spyglass into a formidable premium content company.”

Rodman recently held the position of executive vice president and deputy general counsel for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., serving on the business and legal affairs team handling major corporate and financial transactions and strategic investments.

Before MGM, Rodman was the general counsel and executive vice president of Spyglass Entertainment, the production, finance and distribution company Barber co-founded in 1998.  Prior to joining Spyglass Entertainment, Rodman was an associate of Troop Meisinger Steuber & Pasich and Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP. She holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA.

“I am thrilled to rejoin Gary at Spyglass and be a part of the company’s evolution and growth,” Rodman said in a statement.

Also Read: MGM Partners With Lantern Entertainment to Develop, Distribute ‘Boys in the Boat’

In addition to Lantern, the Spyglass Media Group partnership includes as strategic investors Italy’s largest indie distributor, Eagle Pictures, and Cineworld Group, one of the world’s largest cinema chains..

In July 2018, Lantern acquired the assets of The Weinstein Company out of bankruptcy for $289 million. It walked away with three unreleased films after haggling with filmmakers and producers over the rights to some of the projects, and a library of content.

Through the new venture, Spyglass will own and control all of Lantern Entertainment’s current assets, including a wealth of development projects and more than 250 film library titles, as well as scripted and unscripted television series, such as “Project Runway,” which will return home to Bravo for its 17th season when it premieres March 14.

Lantern’s library of films acquired in the TWC sale include Academy Award winners “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist;” box office hits “Inglourious Basterds,”Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Hateful Eight” and “Django Unchained” and genre franchises “Hellraiser” and “Scream.”

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Lantern Wins Test Case In Attempt By Hollywood Stars To Collect On Weinstein Co.’s Debts

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Lantern Entertainment likely won’t be liable for the unpaid royalties that the bankrupt The Weinstein Company owes several Hollywood stars, based on new bankruptcy court ruling in the case.
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Harvey Weinstein Accused of Forcibly Performing Oral Sex on Woman in New Lawsuit

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Harvey Weinstein’s legal entanglements grew this week, as the disgraced film mogul was sued by a woman who said Weinstein masturbated in front of her while she was using the bathroom and ejaculated onto her skirt, and, in another instance, “forcibly performed oral sex” on her.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, says that the Jane Doe plaintiff first met Weinstein in January 2013 during the Sundance Film Festival, where she gave him her card in case there were opportunities for auditions.

The next day, the suit says, Weinstein invited her to his hotel suite, ostensibly to discuss a potential film. According to the suit, the plaintiff went to the restroom during the meeting and, while she was sitting on the toilet with her tights around her ankles, Weinstein walked in on her, unbuttoned his jeans, dropped his pants and “exposed his penis while telling her, ‘I like looking at you,’ ‘My d— is nice and hard for you’ and asking, ‘Do you like my d—?’ and instructing her ‘Let me look at you.’”

Also Read: Harvey Weinstein Email Leaked: ‘I’ve Had the Worst Nightmare of My Life’

According to the suit, she replied “no,” but Weinstein moved closer to her while masturbating, and says eventually Weinstein “ejaculated directly onto her skirt.”

The suit alleges other incidents. During another instance, the suit says, when they went to Weinstein’s office ostensibly so Weinstein could give her a copy of a script for a film “Vampire Academy,” Weinstein pushed her down and “forcibly performed oral sex” on the plaintiff, who began “audibly sobbing.”

According to the suit, the woman later confronted Weinstein, and he told her, “Don’t be such a prude. I didn’t even f— you.” After which, the suit says, Weinstein grabbed her from behind, began talking dirty to her in front of a mirror “and began masturbating while restraining her movement. When she began sobbing, he became agitated and annoyed and stormed away.”

Also Read: Paz de la Huerta Files Sexual Battery Lawsuit Against Harvey Weinstein

The suit further alleges that Weinstein and The Weinstein Company, also named in the suit, “made misrepresentations to Plaintiff to guarantee her silence about Weinstein’s unlawful conduct, and to create a paper-trail of communications between the two to prevent Plaintiff from reporting his conduct or instituting legal proceedings.”

It also alleges that Weinstein and TWC “would only have fulfilled their promises of casting Plaintiff in TWC films if Plaintiff had sex with Weinstein. Because she would not consent, Weinstein and TWC strung her along, through a carefully orchestrated series of misrepresentations, to prevent her from reporting him and instituting legal proceedings.”

TheWrap has reached out to representatives for Weinstein’s attorney and The Weinstein Company for comment on the suit, which alleges assault, sexual battery, discrimination and harassment and other counts, and seeks unspecified damages. The reps did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Also Read: Woman Says Weinstein Sexually Assaulted Her When She Was 16

Weinstein has been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women and has denied the accusations. He’s awaiting trial on multiple felony charges in New York stemming from accusations of sexual misconduct.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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Lantern Finally Owns The Weinstein Company’s Remains – Now What?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The Weinstein Co. is no more. Last week, the production studio finalized its deal to sell to Lantern Entertainment, handing over the keys to its indie kingdom, including a slate of unreleased films and a handful of employees.

But following more than 30 years worth of accusations of sexual harassment and assault against former boss Harvey Weinstein, from a multitude of women, the company swiftly atrophied into a shell of its former self.

So what did Lantern exactly get out of its purchase?

The company paid $289 million to acquire TWC and its assets out of bankruptcy. It walked away with three unreleased films after haggling with filmmakers and producers over the rights to some of the projects, and a whole lot more.

Also Read: Weinstein Co $289 Million Sale to Lantern Closes

“The Upside,” a remake of the 2011 French drama “The Intouchables,” starring Brian Cranston, Kevin Hart and Nicole Kidman is arguably the most interesting of the three unreleased films now in Lantern’s possession — it’s expected to be an awards season contender.

Benedict Cumberbach and Michael Shannon film “The Current War,” about the battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, also landed with Lantern. The film generated buzz when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year.

Lantern also acquired the supernatural horror flick “Polaroid,” written and directed by Norwegian director Lars Klevberg and based on his 2015 short film of the same name.

Lantern is considering any combination of possibilities for these titles, from selling them off to other studios to releasing them in partnership, a person familiar with the situation told TheWrap.

Meanwhile, Netflix, with a court’s approval, ended its output deal with TWC last week.

Also Read: Ron Burkle Sues Lantern for Fraud, Breach of Contract Over Weinstein Co Sale

And then there’s the films that slipped through Lantern’s fingers: Producers for the Armie Hammer and Dev Patel film “Hotel Mumbai,” as well as producers for “In the Heights,” based on the Broadway play by Lin Manuel-Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes, won back the rights to those titles, respectively.

But in its deal, Lantern did buy TWC’s library of 270 films, which have won a combined 28 Academy Awards and generated more than $2 billion in worldwide box office.

“The King’s Speech,” “The Artist,” “Inglourious Basterds,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Hateful Eight,” “Django Unchained,” “Children of the Corn” and many more in what is now Lantern’s library should prove valuable as many are considered cinema classics.

When it comes to TWC’s TV properties acquired by Lantern, the biggest of those, “Project Runway,” was picked up by NBCUniversal’s Bravo network after being nixed by Lifetime.

Also Read: What Happens to ‘Project Runway’ and Other Weinstein TV Projects in Bankruptcy?

TWC’s embattled bankruptcy led to a couple networks taking steps to distance themselves from the production company. Viacom’s Paramount network cut ties with TWC altogether, scrubbing the studio from the credits of “Waco” and “Yellowstone,” both of which TWC produced.

Amazon took complete ownership of Matthew Weiner’s “The Romanoffs,” which it was developing with TWC. That show will hit the streaming service later this year without any involvement from TWC. And then there was a David O. Russell project, that had been given a two-season order by Amazon, and was later scrapped entirely in October.

Lantern is still currently working out of the old TWC offices in New York and Los Angeles, according to a person familiar with the new combined company. But Lantern is looking for new office space and would likely keep a home base in both cities.

Also Read: Quentin Tarantino Wants to Block Weinstein Co.’s Sale to Lantern Entertainment Over Unpaid Royalties

On July 11, in preparation for the Lantern deal, TWC fired its remaining 70 employees, two-thirds of whom were hired back by Lantern to work under the new banner.

The same week, Lantern tapped industry veterans Steve Beeks, Alexa Platt and Lauren Zalaznick to consult for the company as it looks to revive the film studio.

In a statement after the deal closed, Lantern said its goal is “to be one of the preeminent homes for creative talent with an unwavering commitment to compelling content creation and a culture of diverse professionals who will operate this company with the absolute highest level of ethics and standards.”

As to whether the company will fully restore the prestige, box office grosses and awards of TWC’s heyday,  that’s a question that can only begin to be answered in a few years.

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