Gal Gadot’s Brett Rat­ner ul­ti­ma­tum likely moot

The Detroit News - - Front Page - DANIEL MILLER Los An­ge­les Times

Warner Bros. finds it­self in an awk­ward sit­u­a­tion with Gal Gadot, the star of its most im­por­tant movie of the year, “Jus­tice League,” which de­buts this week.

At the cen­ter of the is­sue is the stu­dio’s re­la­tion­ship with em­bat­tled film­maker Brett Rat­ner, who has been ac­cused by sev­eral women of a range of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

A widely cir­cu­lated re­port pub­lished by the New York Post on Satur­day said that Gadot, who starred in the sum­mer block­buster “Won­der Woman,” would not ap­pear in the planned 2019 se­quel if Rat­ner’s fi­nanc­ing com­pany, RatPac- Dune En­ter­tain­ment, were to be in­volved.

The com­pany, which has a co-fi­nanc­ing or slate deal with Warner Bros. that be­gan in 2013 and cov­ers up to 75 films, helped pay for “Won­der Woman,” along with most other films from the stu­dio in re­cent years.

But any al­leged ul­ti­ma­tum by Gadot would ap­pear to be a moot point.

RatPac-Dune’s fi­nanc­ing agree­ment with Warner Bros. ex­pires in spring 2018, and as a re­sult, the ex­ist­ing deal is not ex­pected to in­clude fund­ing part of the “Won­der Woman 2” se­quel, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter who were not au­tho­rized to com­ment pub­licly. Warner Bros. an­nounced Mon­day that the fol­low-up film would be re­leased Nov. 1, 2019.

Melissa Raub­vo­gel, Gadot’s pub­li­cist, did not re­spond to re­peated re­quests for com­ment. A spokesman for Warner Bros. called the Post story “false” and de­clined to com­ment fur­ther.

The last film to be cov­ered by the ex­ist­ing RatPac-Dune deal is likely to be “Ram­page,” an ac­tion-ad­ven­ture that comes out April 20, ac­cord­ing to a per­son with knowl­edge of the mat­ter. Typ­i­cally, slate fi­nanc­ing deals cover films that are re­leased in the­aters within the ef­fec­tive dates of the ar­range­ment.

Af­ter the Los An­ge­les Times pub­lished a Nov. 1 story that de­tailed al­le­ga­tions by ac­tresses in­clud­ing Olivia Munn, Natasha Hen­stridge and Jaime Ray New­man, Warner Bros. cut ties with Rat­ner. The stu­dio chose not to re­new its pro­duc­tion deal with Rat­ner’s other com­pany, RatPac En­ter­tain­ment, and he will no longer keep an of­fice on the stu­dio’s Bur­bank lot.

Rat­ner, through his at­tor­ney, Martin Singer, has “cat­e­gor­i­cally” dis­puted the women’s ac­counts. But the 48-year-old film­maker, best known for the “Rush Hour” fran­chise, said in a state­ment that he was “choos­ing to per­son­ally step away from all Warner Bros.-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.”

“I don’t want to have any pos­si­ble neg­a­tive im­pact to the stu­dio un­til these per­sonal is­sues are re­solved,” he said.

“Won­der Woman,” which was re­leased in June and grossed more than $820 mil­lion world­wide, gave a big boost to Warner Bros. at a time when it was get­ting pil­lo­ried by crit­ics and fans alike for its han­dling of a se­ries of movies in­volv­ing DC Comics char­ac­ters. Films in­clud­ing “Bat­man v Su­per­man: Dawn of Jus­tice” and “Sui­cide Squad” un­der­whelmed crit­ics, though both grossed more than $700 mil­lion world­wide. Gadot reprises her Won­der Woman role in “Jus­tice League.”

Gadot

Rat­ner

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