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‘Van Wilder’ Stokes Legal Battle 15 Years After Release

Variety logo Variety 3/30/2017 Gene Maddaus
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The producers who brought “Van Wilder” to the screen 15 years ago are now engaged in a legal fight over who owns the distribution rights to the film.

Myriad Pictures filed suit Wednesday in L.A. Superior Court, seeking a declaration that it will take full rights to the film on the 15th anniversary of its release on April 4.

According to the lawsuit, Myriad contends that its partner in the project, Tapestry Films, engaged in secret negotiations with the distributor, Lionsgate, to extend the distribution agreement beyond the 15-year term. Myriad asserts that under the agreement, Tapestry was receiving 80% of the proceeds to just 20% for Myriad, though Myriad put up the financing for the film.

“The participation split is extremely favorable to Tapestry,” the lawsuit argues.

According to Myriad, Tapestry sought to extend the agreement in order to maintain the favorable split. However, Myriad insists that the full distribution rights should revert to Myriad next week under the distribution agreement.

Peter Abrams, a partner in Tapestry Films, said he had not received the complaint.

“I don’t know anything,” he told Variety.

The lawsuit notes that “Van Wilder” stars Ryan Reynolds in a breakout role, and “has proven popular with movie audiences on an ‘evergreen’ basis long after its initial release.”

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