Mgm Studios are taking the former boxing champion Jake La Motta to court over the rights to a Raging Bull sequel, The Hollywood Reporter have said today (July 5, 2012). According to their story, Mgm signed a deal with La Motta and Peter Savage - the co-writer of his autobiography - which obligated the pair to "present terms and conditions on which they would sell rights to any sequel."
La Motta, however, has chosen to sell the rights to the sequel to Raging Bull, without consulting Mgm. A new movie, entitled Raging Bull II: Continuing the Story of Jake La Motta is now almost at completion, despite demands from Mgm that they cease filming. 90 year old La Motta told the New York Post of his despair at Mgm's objections to the new movie. "How can you fight a company that big?" he asked, rhetorically. "All of these business things, I don't bother with it because I'm not capable, physically or mentally, because I don't hear so good." The low-budget sequel is said to have been based on a 1986 book co-written by La Motta.
This isn't the first time that Mgm have faced a battle over the rights to the Raging Bull legacy. Peter Savage's daughter filed a suit against Mgm and 20th Century Fox in 2009, arguing that the rights to the movie should have reverted after the original term had expired and sought a declaration of ownership. Mgm argued that their contractual hold over Raging Bull was still in full effect.