Weinsteins hit with $50 million lawsuit

Filmmaker Tony Leech and producer Brian Inerfeld are suing the Weinstein Company over claims their animated movie Escape From Planet Earth was “sabotaged… through a potent combination of hubris, incompetence, profligate spending, and contempt for contractual obligations”.

In the lawsuit, which was filed on Wednesday (02Mar11), the duo is also accused of paying the plaintiffs $500,000 (£333,000) to wait until after the Oscars on Sunday (28Feb11) to take legal action.

The King’s Speech, which was distributed by the Weinsteins’ firm, ruled the ceremony after scooping four Oscars, including Best Picture.

According to the suit, the Weinsteins allege the $500,000 payment was extorted, which Leech and Inerfeld deny.

Lawyers for the Weinsteins have dismissed the case as “frivolous” and “slanderous”, claiming the filmmakers were “let go after they refused to make the picture which TWC wanted” and were paid more than $2 million (£1.3 million) in accordance with their contract.