The producers of the "Dumb and Dumber" sequel are suing to keep the producers of the original 1994 Jim Carrey comedy out of the picture altogether -- despite that those producers say they were "intimately involved" in the making of the film.
Red Granite Productions on Monday asked a Los Angeles judge to affirm that Steve Stabler and Brad Krevoy, the producers of "Dumb and Dumber," will play no role in the follow-up. The company claims the two have threatened legal action if they are not paid a producer's fee and given a credit on the production.
Tentatively entitled "Dumb and Dumber To," the film will reunite stars Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels with directors Peter Farrelly and Bob Farrelly. After being put into turnaround at Warner Bros. and New Line, it was rescued last June when Universal Pictures and Red Granite agreed to take on the $35 million comedy.
Pre-production begins next week.
Attorneys for Red Granite say any sequel rights that the two producers have were nullified because Red Granite is signing an agreement with New Line Pictures -- the studio behind the first film. That agreement grants Red Granite all rights related to "Dumb and Dumber" and a potential follow-up, according to the filing.
The company claims that a 1994 agreement Stabler and Krevoy signed with New Line does not give them sequel rights. Moreover, Red Granite argues that it has not tapped the two producers for their expertise or signed any type of contract.
"No agreement of any kind exists between Red Granite, on the one hand, and either Krevoy or Stabler, on the other hand, in connection with 'Dumb and Dumber To,' nor has Krevoy or Stabìer furnished any pre-production, producing or any other services to Red Granite in connection with 'Dumb and Dumber To,'" the suit reads.
Stabler rejected the company's claims that he and Krevoy had no rights to the film.
"We were intimately involved in every aspect of the development and production of 'Dumb and Dumber,' we were on the set every day and we gave our hearts and souls to that movie, and we were the ones who made it happen with Peter and Bobby Farrelly and producer Charlie Wessler on a movie that was their directorial debut," Stabler said. "It is now outrageous that [Red Granite co-founders] Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland would try to exclude us when we have a written contract that governs our participation in all future sequels."
Stabler says Red Granite had a history of mistreating producers, pointing to a lawsuit the company settled in October with producer Alexandra Milchan after she alleged that the company improperly cut her out of the Martin Scorsese film "The Wolf of Wall Street."
Red Granite's request for declaratory relief also seeks to recoup legal fees. Krevoy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.