Quentin Tarantino Sued By Mirimax Over Pulp Fiction NFT Plans

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It looks like iconic director Quentin Tarantino has hit a snag in one of his latest projects. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Tarantino is currently being sued by the production company Miramax, over his plans to create nonfungible tokens surrounding his 1994 film Pulp Fiction. Miramax, which produced the film, have sued Tarantino for copyright infringement and breach of contract, arguing that the director is trying to "capitalize, unilaterally, on Miramax's rights to Pulp Fiction." The studio previously sent a cease and desist letter to Tarantino.

"This one-off effort devalues the NFT rights to Pulp Fiction, which Miramax intends to maximize through a strategic, comprehensive approach," Proskauer Rose LLP partner Bart Williams said 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."

The suit claims that Tarantino's legal team hopes to move forward with the NFTs due to a "reserved rights" clause in the contract he originally signed, but Miramax argues that those rights are limited to the film's soundtrack, music publishing, live performance, print publication, comic books and theatrical and television sequel and spin-off rights.

"Tarantino's limited 'Reserved Rights' under the operative agreements are far too narrow for him to unilaterally produce, market, and sell the 'Pulp Fiction' NFTs," the suit alleges.

Tarantino is far from the latest director to try to get into the NFT marketplace, with indie icon Kevin Smith recently announcing a jump into the NFT world — including Killroy Was Here, the first film to be sold as an NFT. As Smith explained on his Fatman Beyond podcast shortly after the news was announced, the decision to sell the film in that way was partially inspired by an anecdote involving Tarantino.

"There was some consternation online, when we talked about selling Killroy as an NFT. I guess some folks were like 'That hurts film.' I completely disagree," Smith explained back in April. "I talked about it in an interview, a bit of [my] motivation was... in 1997, I was at the South by Southwest film festival. We were doing a panel, and it was a bunch of directors — there was Quentin [Tarantino], Robert Rodriguez, Mike Judge, George Huang, Steven Soderbergh, and myself. Everyone [was] asking filmmaker-oriented questions, and Quentin got a question at one point, somebody was like 'How do I be you?' And Quentin was like 'Don't be. This business needs more distributors and exhibitors, so please be that. It has so many filmmakers, but not enough people to get the movies out there.' And that always stuck with me."

"The Killroy NFT, when we do it in the second drop, you with the ability — not only to own this one-of-a-kind NFT, but then, in the real world, you get the movie, the hard drives, all the files, the same way as if we sold the movie to a distributor," Smith continued. "And you get to choose the movie's future, where it goes, how to distribute it, where to take it — its value having been increased by the fact that you, a complete outsider, just bought it. Some people are like 'What if the person wins it and doesn't share with anybody?' We're hopefully building in this thing that says 'If you buy it, you can't just put it in your wallet.' I'm not saying you gotta take it out to theaters and stuff, but I'm also going to make myself available — the same way I would if somebody bought a movie I made — to do press and all that stuff around promoting the movie. So it's a fun way, too, for somebody who's in the world of crypto — I certainly don't recommend this for somebody who's not deep in the world of crypto — you could wind up being a real-world distributor as well. Like, you know it's an NFT that has value in the world of crypto, but it also has value in the real world as well. It'll be interesting."

What do you think of Miramax suing Quentin Tarantino about his Pulp Fiction NFTs? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!