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“Grudge” film gives rise to contract dispute

Nevada movie fans may be looking forward to the American remake of “The Grudge”, but the film’s progress has hit a snag. The producer of the Japanese “Grudge” original, Taka Ichise, filed a lawsuit for breach of contract on July 30, alleging that the producers of the new film did not allow him to play a production role. The lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that the American producers, Good Universe, violated their agreement with Ichise.

Ichise says that Good Universe was given the rights to produce the next “Grudge” on the basis of a stipulation that he would be paid a certain fee and given a producer credit. However, Ichise argues that the company breached the contract by failing to provide him with a producer credit. Ichise produced the first Japanese “Grudge” horror film, called “Ju-on” in 2002; after that time, both Japanese- and English-language films were made. Ichise was a producer on both languages’ installments in the franchise.

The first American installment of “The Grudge” was released in 2004, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, and two more films followed after that one. The disputed film, scheduled for release in August 2019, is a re-adaptation of the 2004 film, based on the 2002 Japanese production.

Business ventures of various kinds, from entertainment to manufacturing, rely on the bonds and agreements made through contracts. Signed contracts bind individuals and businesses to specific conduct, but when the signatories fail to live up to the contract’s terms, it can prevent business from moving forward as planned. The costs to the wronged parties can be significant, as they may have invested extensive assets and time. When a contract dispute arises, the aggrieved party might want to meet with an attorney to see what steps should be taken.

John P. Aldrich
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