Sunday, September 24, 2006

Screenwriter loses implied contract suit against Miramax

Miramax has prevailed in an implied contract case filed by screenwriter Jeff Grosso concerning the Miramax movie “Rounders” which Grasso claimed copied ideas from his script.

The case was first dismissed when a federal District Court ruled that Grosso’s contract claim was preempted by federal copyright law. But this decision was overturned by a federal Court of Appeals which held that an implied contract claim is not preempted.

The California Superior Court granted summary judgment to Miramax on the grounds that Grosso did not submit the script to Miramax to Gotham Entertainment Group which was not a defendant in the lawsuit.

The court rejected Grosso’s claim based on a “First Look/Last Matching Right” deal between Gotham and Miramax.

Grosso v. Miramax Film Corp., Case No. BC215947 (Cal. Super. Ct. 2006) (read case at


Congratulations to our client Phil Nibbelink whose animated family film, Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss opens on October 27, 2006 on numerous screens. In the Los Angeles region the film will be shown at such theaters as AMC Burbank 16, Beverly Center 13 Cinemas, Culver Plaza 6, Magic Johnson Crenshaw 15, Mann's Plant 16, Regal Valencia Stadium 12, UA La Canada 8, Civic Center Stadium 16, and the AMC Ontario Mills 30. The film will be shown on 5 different screens in SAN DIEGO and 5 screens in SAN FRANCISCO.

The picture is being released by Indican Pictures. Additional information and the trailer can be viewed at:

“Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss” is a fantasy about two star crossed seals from warring families that fall in love against their parents’ wishes. When Juliet’s father gives her hand in marriage to the monstrous elephant seal Prince, Juliet must fake her death in order to be reunited with Romeo. But the plan goes afoul and it’s a desperate race to the end. With the help of their friends Friar Lawrence and Kissy, the kissing fish, the young lovers are reunited with a happy ending. The picture was written, directed and animated by Phil Nibbelink who has been a writer, director and animator on numerous films including The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, Oliver & Company, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Casper and An American Tail-Fievel Goes West.