As the Weinstein brothers gear up for what should be a successful Oscar night at the Academy Awards this month, they are also preparing for something else: a hefty lawsuit! Michael Moore is reportedly suing his former producers for millions of dollars he thinks he is owed from his controversial documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11”. For more information on this story, keep on reading after the jump!
People were beginning to think we had seen the last of Bob and Harvey Weinstein after years of less than stellar movies, but with “The King’s Speech” up for a dozen or so Oscars this year, they seemed to be making their way back into award winning films. But if Michael Moore has anything to say about it, their good name won’t be standing for much longer.
Moore’s critically acclaimed, yet controversial documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” was produced and distributed by the Weinstein brothers in 2004. Their agreement said that the Weinsteins and their respective companies would split profits of the film 50/50. The movie went on to bring in more than $222 million, making it the most successful documentary of all time.
Years after the success of the film, Moore is crunching the numbers and he does not like what he thinks he has found. Today he filed a suit against the Weinsteins for “accounting tricks and financial deception” that he claims diverted at least $2.7 million in profits he is owed.
Moore’s lawyer, Larry Stein released a statement saying:
“An independent auditor came in and discovered that the Weinsteins had re-routed at least $2.7 million dollars that belonged to Michael Moore from “Fahrenheit 9/11.” This is the first time Michael Moore has ever sued anyone in his 20-yr career as a filmmaker. That should be some indication about how serious this is. It’s very sad it had to come to this. Michael believes the Weinsteins have been a force for good when it comes to championing independent film — but that does not give them the right to violate a contract and take money that isn’t theirs. The $2.7 million is just the floor of what we believe is owed. When this goes to discovery I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of what was taken goes much, much higher.”
For their part, the Weinstein brothers think he is blowing typical audit negotiations out of proportion, and that he has already made upwards of $20 million off the film. Moore is certainly known for his public spectacles; he makes controversial documentaries for a living after all, the man has no shame. Only time will tell if the courts agree that Moore is owed more than he received, or if he should just shut up and be happy with the millions he got in the first place.
What do you guys think of Michael Moore suing the Weinstein brothers for “Fahrenheit 9/11” profits? Do you think they kept money from him purposefully, or is Moore just trying to get some attention and a few extra million now that they are part of an Oscar nominated film? Let us know what you think, and check out the trailer from “Fahrenheit 9/11” below!
Photos: www.wenn.com/Carrie Devorah/Joseph Marzullo