Pulp Fiction: Tarantino Sued by Miramax Over NFT Project

Miramax Sues Quentin Tarantino Over ‘Pulp Fiction’ NFT Project

The director announced the project, which will include scenes from a script that were cut from the final movie.

Miramax is suing director Tarantino over plans to release non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on his 1994 Oscar-winning film, Pulp Fiction.

Tarantino announced the NFT plans, intending to release seven NFTs based on the film, including scenes from an early script that were cut from the final film.

The NFTs will also contain Pulp Fiction art, and commentary from Tarantino himself. Miramax alleges that it sent a cease-and-desist letter to the director after the announcement, to no avail. The studio claims that it is in discussions about forging NFT partnerships based on its library of films, and that Tarantino’s agreement devalues those efforts.

 

“Tarantino’s conduct has forced Miramax to bring this lawsuit against a valued collaborator in order to enforce, preserve, and protect its contractual and intellectual property rights relating to one of Miramax’s most iconic and valuable film properties,” the company wrote in its lawsuit. “Left unchecked, Tarantino’s conduct could mislead others into believing Miramax is involved in his venture. And it could also mislead others into believing they have the rights to pursue similar deals or offerings, when in fact Miramax holds the rights needed to develop, market, and sell NFTs relating to its deep film library.”

The “Tarantino NFT Collection” is being launched in partnership with SCRT Labs and the Secret Network, which are trying to create a new type of NFT with “secret” content embedded within it. The Pulp Fiction NFTs would have a publicly-viewable portion, and secret content (including the previously unseen script) only visible to the owner.

According to a copy of Tarantino’s contract with Miramax for Pulp Fiction, the director retained some rights to the film, including “soundtrack album, music publishing, live performance, print publication (including, without limitation, screenplay publication, ‘making of’ books, comic books and novelization, in audio and electronic formats as well, as applicable), interactive media, theatrical and television sequel and remake rights, and television series and spinoff rights.”

Tarantino’s attorney, in response to the cease-and-desist letter from Miramax, argued that the director was acting within his “Reserved Rights,” specifically the right to “screenplay publication.”

Figuring out the limits on those reserved rights (including interactive media and screenplay publication) will be critical, as NFTs were not something studios or filmmakers were thinking about in 1993.

“This group chose to recklessly, greedily, and intentionally disregard the agreement that Quentin signed instead of following the clear legal and ethical approach of simply communicating with Miramax about his proposed ideas. This one-off effort devalues the NFT rights to Pulp Fiction, which Miramax intends to maximize through a strategic, comprehensive approach,” said Proskauer Rose LLP partner Bart Williams, who is representing Miramax, in a statement.

“Miramax will defend all of its rights in regard to its library, including rights relating to NFTs, and will not allow Quentin’s representatives to deceive others into believing they have the authority to make similar deals in violation of the rights agreements they signed.”

NFTs have become hot commodity in Hollywood, with stars and studios all vying for a piece of the pie. ViacomCBS, which is Miramax’s controlling shareholder, recently announced a deal with the NFT company, Recur, to create NFTs based on its intellectual property, while Warner and Nifty’s is launching NFT avatar project, based on the Matrix film franchise.