Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed "King of All Media," has been talking about launching a remake of the classic '80s sex comedy 'Porky's' for years. The long-in-development film is said to be nearing production, but the King may have to defer to the courts before he can launch his remake of the raunchy comedy.
Stern and his co-producers say they acquired the rights to remake the film back in 2002. The problem is, a company named Lontano Investments says they acquired the full rights to the franchise from the original producers way back in 1994. Something's clearly rotten in the state of Denmark.
Hit the jump for the legal details in plain English.
What's even more intriguing about this story is that there was actually a 'Porky's' sequel released two years ago. That film, originally entitled 'Porky's: The College Years' underwent a name change and became 'Pimpin' Pee Wee.' Cult Australian filmmaker Brian Trenchard-Smith was the director.
How did this happen?
It turns out that the Lontano group signed a contract in 2001 with a company known as Mola Entertainment. The deal gave Mola the exclusive right to make a new 'Porky's' film in exchange for 1.5 percent of the production budget, less option fees. Mola also had the right to make a sequel, if they satisfied these terms and made the first feature within five years of the deal. The contract was amended a few times -- the cost eventually shifted to 2.5 percent of the budget -- and with their time running out they churned out 'Pimpin' Pee Wee' on the cheap (for a million bucks). Needless to say, few people have ever heard of it.
Trenchard-Smith tells THR that Mola wanted to launch a $10 million reboot, but couldn't get a deal they were satisfied with, so they made 'Pimpin' Pee Wee' to satisfy their obligation. With their contract fulfilled, they assumed they'd take another crack at the 'Porky's' reboot with the sequel rights they should have obtained by making the first film.
Lontano disagrees, saying the contract stipulates that the film needed to have a $10 million budget to satisfy the requirements of the deal. Without having seen the contract, it does seem interesting that Trenchard-Smith would mention that Mola was looking to make a film with a $10 million budget and lo and behold that's the amount Lontano cites in their suit ... Mola has now filed a lawsuit against Lontano in Los Angeles with the hopes that the judge will decide that the $10 million budget wasn't contractually obligated. They claim Lontano Investments is merely trying to shake them down for more cash.
This could all have serious repercussions with regards to Stern's remake. If a judge rules Mola has the exclusive rights to make the next 'Porky's' (and if that's the case, they'll have them until 2014), then it seems likely Stern will be forced to wait them out, join up with that production or abandon his project completely. This is probably not the news he wanted to hear.
Regardless of what you think of the controversial shock jock, you've gotta admit that a 'Porky's' reboot is pretty much right in his wheelhouse. If someone's going to bring 'Porky's' back for a new generation, wouldn't you prefer it be Stern -- who will actually make the film with a Hollywood budget and genuine actors? No offense to Mola, but if 'Pimpin' Pee Wee' was the best he could do with this franchise, maybe it's time to pass it on to someone else.