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Contracts Keyed to Dawson
Merry Gentleman, LLC v. George and Leona Productions, Inc.
Citation:2013 WL 4105578.
Merry Gentleman contracted with Michael Keaton (via George and Leona Productions) to direct and act in its motion picture The Merry Gentleman. Both Merry Gentleman and Keaton made a cut of the film, and Merry Gentleman chose to submit its cut to the Sundance Film Festival. However, Keaton approached Sundance and informed officials that he would not appear at the festival if they did not use his version of the film. On December 14, 2007, Merry Gentleman and Keaton entered a Settlement Agreement and Release (“Release”) in which Keaton’s cut would be shown at Sundance. The parties also agreed to release “any and all claims” arising from the parties’ other film contracts prior to entering the Release, and that they would comply with their obligations under the directing services agreement. The film premiered at Sundance on January 18, 2008, and the film was released in May 2009. In April 2009, Keaton unenthusiastically appeared on Good Morning America for a spot to promote the film. Nearly four years after the Release was signed, Merry Gentleman brought this action.
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