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Contracts Keyed to Dawson
Merry Gentleman, LLC v. George and Leona Productions, Inc.
Citation:799 F.3d 827
Merry Gentleman contracted with Michael Keaton (via George and Leona Productions) to direct and act in its motion picture The Merry Gentleman. Keaton completed the movie and it was accepted to the Sundance Film Festival. The film received critical praise, but did not do well commercially. Merry Gentleman alleged that Keaton breached the contract by (1) failing to timely prepare the first cut of the film, (2) submitting an incomplete first cut, (3) submitting a revised cut that was not ready, (4) communicating directly with Sundance Film Festival officials and threatening to boycott if they did not accept the director’s cut rather than the producer’s cut, (5) failing to cooperate during the post-production process, and (6) failing to adequately promote the film. Before the district court, Keaton did not dispute the breach of contract claims, but rather moved for summary judgment on the narrow ground that Merry Gentleman failed to produce evidence that his alleged breaches caused it damages. The court granted the motion.
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