It turns out Village Roadshow’s lawsuit against Warner Bros. regarding the streaming of the day and date of The Matrix Resurrections was just the first part of a multi-pronged attack on Warner Bros. and his commitment to HBO Max. The suit, filed last weeksuggested that Warner Bros. launch the new Matrix sequel on streaming specifically to ensure its box office viability and prevent Village Roadshow from making any money, jeopardizing its position as co-owner and co-financier of the series. He also accused WB of failing to consult Village Roadshow on the new exit strategy despite working out “acceptable accommodations” with stars Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss as well as director Lana Wachowski.
Warner Bros. replied this week (Going through The Hollywood Reporter), calling the statement “duplicity” and “artificial” in a statement, noting that Village Roadshow was “pleased to have its name in the film’s credits, traveled to the world premiere in San Francisco and held before the media as producers of the film”, but has now “reneged on its contractual obligation to pay its share of the cost of the film”.
WB adds that it was able to reach “mutually acceptable agreements” with everyone else involved in releasing any of the 2021 movies that went to HBO Max and hit theaters on the same day. except for Village Roadshow. Instead, according to the WB’s statement, he deliberately waited until the film was released so he could have a “‘free look’ at the end result of the film’s performance without any financial investment”.
In response to that response, Village Roadshow has now bolstered its case against Warner Bros., accusing the studio of trying to force it to remove the rights to the 100+ movies it has co-produced and co-financed with Warner Bros. over the years. Village Roadshow says it’s being “excluded” from discussions of “several prequels, sequels, or TV shows” WB is working on based on movies it co-owns with Village Roadshow, like Loan player onethe oceans movies and Robert Downey Jr. sherlock holmes movies.
It’s unclear if WB is allowed to do whatever he wants in this situation, with THR talk to a lawyer who said Village Roadshow can’t force Warner Bros. to do a particular project, but it “gets trickier” when “decisions are made in bad faith” – as if Warner Bros. actively avoided doing a particular thing just because Village Roadshow would want to be involved.
It’s all pretty messy, but the bottom line is that Village Roadshow thinks it wasn’t involved in the decision to put the new Matrix film on HBO Max, a move he says hurt the film’s box office comes back on purpose. WB, meanwhile, says she gave Village Roadshow every chance to get involved and declined. Now Village Roadshow says it’s not just about the new Matrixit is all the movies the two studios have made together.
In a bonus ride, THR says Warner Bros. is represented by Daniel Petrocelli, the attorney working for Disney in the trial of Scarlett Johansson. This one was settled out of courtso we don’t know for sure, but it doesn’t seem to have worked particularly well for Disney.