|Betty Boop the Movie (2016)|
Betty Boop the Movie (2016)
Cast & Crew
- Simon Cowell (Producer/Syco Entertainment)
- Zareh Nalbandian (Animal Logic's/CEO)
Simon Cowell on Betty Boop
Simon Cowell stated "Betty is an icon, and one of the biggest stars in the world - I'm thrilled to be working with her. Betty, I've worked with some serious divas but I think you could be the biggest of them all!"
Betty's official twitter page replied "@SimonCowell said I am the biggest of them all and I take that as a compliment! Xoxo #SimonLovesBetty."
Lady Gaga as Betty Boop
A Wikileak rumored that Lady Gaga was once tied to do the voice for Betty Boop, Gaga was also in discussions to contribute music to the film, however the film is going to another studio and Lady Gaga will not be involved In an email sent by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Columbia Pictures vice president of production Lauren Abrahams on October 10th, 2014, Abrahams writes to then Sony Pictures co-chairwoman Amy Pascal and Motion Pictures Group President Doug Belgrad that "I wanted to make sure Syco/Animal Logic’s Betty Boop project is on your radar". Lady Gaga is attached to voice Betty Boop & do some of the music."Abrahams then mentions that "Neither of us thinks we should do it, and we’ve also run the brand by marketing who aren’t inclined either," and questions the appeal of the film because "it feels weirdly sexualized yet childlike (esp with Gaga) and not sure really who it’s for in a big mainstream way." Belgrad replies that "It sounds kind of weird to me to be honest. I don't mind if we don't chase it." Abrahams then says she agrees, and mentions that "MGM is going to buy it." Betty Boop was potentially going to be made by Fleischer Studios, who own the rights to Betty Boop, and produced by Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment and Animal Logic Entertainment.
It has been suggested that the Syco Entertainment & Animal Logic Betty Boop film feature has been canceled. Instead Betty will make her debut in a new TV series in 2018. Syco & Animal Logic have yet to comment. Although the immediate release for the film is still featured on the Animal Logics website.
Update 14th November (2016)
In a complaint filed on Halloween, former Jim Henson Company executive Jason Lust sued Animal Logic Entertainment and its Chief Executive Officer Zareh Nalbandian for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud (among other causes of action) based on what Lust claims were misrepresentations and false promises relating the formation of a partnership to produce children’s entertainment. Lust alleges that Animal Logic and Nalbandian sought to capitalize on his entertainment industry contacts and on the intellectual property Lust controlled by falsely promising to form a partnership, when they allegedly had no intent of actually doing so. According to the complaint, Lust used his connections and resources to set up various motion pictures including “Peter Rabbit” and “Betty Boop” for Animal Logic at major studios and that, once the lucrative studio deals were in place, Animal Logic disavowed its promises. Lust claims that he was supposed to be a “Priority Producer” on the projects he set up and that he has yet to receive a penny for his work on any of the projects. In addition to damages, Lust’s complaint seeks declaratory relief regarding his intellectual property rights in projects he pitched to studios on behalf of Animal Logic (including “Monkeys,” “Betty Boop,” “The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause,” “Spy v. Spy,” “Astro Boy” and “Fortunately The Milk.”)
Lust’s complaint attaches a “short form” agreement that Lust claims was supposed to be superseded by a “long form” contract confirming the terms of the alleged producing partnership. Contrary to Lust’s partnership claims, the short form says that the agreement is “at will,” and could be terminated on four months’ notice. It also contains language suggesting that Lust’s involvement was as an independent contractor, not partner.
Cases that attempt to recover in tort by turning what is essentially a breach of contract case into a fraud case are generally difficult to win. The words of a signed written contract – such as Lust has with Animal Logic – are hard to overcome with claims of fraud. For example, Lust’s claim that he was defrauded into signing over his intellectual property rights with respect to “Peter Rabbit” is likely to be an uphill battle given the clause in the short form agreement stating that the copyright and all intellectual property related to Lust’s producing services would be assigned to Animal Logic. Since Lust promised to assign his intellectual property rights in the written contract, it’s will be hard to convince a judge (or a savvy jury) that he was conned into doing so.
Lawyers often plead fraud claims in companion with contract claims because fraud carries the prospect of punitive damages (contract claims don’t) and can greatly increase the potential value of the case if it can be proved. Lust’s complaint claims that various e-mails between the parties and other documents support his fraud claims. None of these documents are attached to the complaint. What these documents actually say is likely to be highly significant to the ultimate outcome of the case and to the fraud claim. People can be careless in writing e-mails and often say things that they would never put in a letter or other more formal communication. If Lust has e-mails that smack of fraud or contain damaging statements against Animal Logic he may be able to prevail on his fraud claim notwithstanding contrary language in the written agreement. Lust’s contract claim for unpaid producer fees should be more straightforward and easier to win (depending on the actual facts) because the written agreement provides that he is entitled to producer fees in certain circumstances.
- The email stated that the in-the-works project would be “An animated live action hybrid” along the lines of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
- Abrahams mentioned that MGM might buy the film, MGM has a past with Betty as the character appeared in the MGM Grand Adventures Theme Park in 1993 and was supposed to have been featured in a film by MGM (Betty Boop MGM Zanuck) but the film was cancelled/abandoned in 1993.
- Betty Boop at Animal Logic