One long in development project that has been on our radar for a while has been the remake of the classic comedy Porky’s being spearheaded by radio personality Howard Stern. Stern has mentioned it on and off for some time now, and considering the long development process he went through for the adaptation of his book Private Parts, we know that he can be fairly demanding when it comes to making sure a screen play is as good as possible.
Unfortunately, it is looking as if a legal tussle as to who actually owns the rights to remake director Bob Clarke’s 1982 teen sexploitation classic could hold up his plans to get the project in front of cameras anytime soon.
While Stern and his co-producers claim that the bought the remake rights to Porky’s from the film’s original producers back in 2002, a group called Lontano Investments claim that they purchased the same rights back in 1994. To further complicate matters Lontano is being sued by another production company, Mola Entertainment, over a deal the two made concerning the remake rights.
It turns out that in 2001, Mola struck a deal with Lontano for the rights to make a new Porky’s sequel. Part of that deal required that Mola make a new Porky’s film within a certain time limit or the rights would revert back to Lontano. When that deadline loomed near, Mola churned out the quick and cheap Pimpin’ Pee Wee (filmed under the title Porky’s: The College Years) for under $1 million dollars with Australian director Brian Trenchard-Smith behind the camera to satisfy the contractual demands to hold on to the rights further. (It sounds like a similar situation to how Roger Corman rushed in to production on his never-officially-released Fantastic Four film in the 1990s.)
Lontano, however, decided that the Pimpin’ Pee Wee didn’t satisfy the terms of the contract, claiming that the film’s budget needed to be at least $10 million for the rights continuation clause to kick in. Mola has in turn, filed suit in Los Angeles, hoping that a judge will rule that they did indeed fulfill the terms of their contract.
No matter what the outcome of the lawsuit, Stern’s planned Porky’s remake is going to be affected. If a judge rules in Mola’s favor, the production company will have until April 1, 2014 to make their next Porky’s film before their rights expire. In this case, Stern could join forces with Mola or sit back and wait, hoping that they don’t meet the deadline.
But if a judge favors Lontano, there will very likely be another lawsuit between Stern, Lontano and the original Porky’s producers as to who actually holds the remake rights. Over the course of his radio career, Stern has been litigious when it has come to contracts he has been a part of going unfulfilled by the other party. If the Porky’s producers did indeed sell him film rights that weren’t theirs to sell, I would not be surprised if they would be summoned to answer for their actions in court.
Hopefully, all this can be resolved fairly quickly and easily. Stern has not had the best of luck with his production company. Outside of the early 2000s FX network comedy Son Of The Beach, he hasn’t had any project come to fruition. An animated series for the Spike cable outlet called Howard Stern: The High School Years, with Michael Cera cast as the teenage Stern, died when an agreement over the animation budget couldn’t be reached. Stern also has a planned remake of the comedy Rock And Roll High School in development with a script by Alex Winter, though the status of that project is currently unknown.
Via Hollywood Reporter.