NEW YORK: Red Granite Pictures is still in business despite the action by the US Department of Justice to seize assets related to the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, it assured Monday.
“Today we announce in no uncertain terms that Red Granite remains open for business, and that everyone involved with Red Granite can confidently continue to do business with us in the wake of the civil lawsuit filed by the government last month,” the company said in a statement.
On July 20, the DoJ filed civil forfeiture suits to recover assets it said had been stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd through a web of transactions involving several individuals and financial institutions.
Among the assets are all future income from The Wolf of Wall Street due to Red Granite Pictures, which the US government said used money siphoned from 1MDB to finance the film. The film has grossed USD400 million, though it is unclear how much of that went to Red Granite.
Late Monday, according to a Variety report, US prosecutors filed a stipulation with Red Granite that sets up a procedure to segregate proceeds from two Red Granite films: The Wolf of Wall Street and Friends With Kids, a 2011 film starring Megan Fox.
The second film was not previously part of the government’s case.
As part of the stipulation, the government withdrew a proposed restraining order against the rights to The Wolf of Wall Street.
Instead, the report said, the stipulation maintained existing collection account management agreements, thereby allowing proceeds from the films to continue to flow to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, director Martin Scorsese, Fox, the actors’ and directors’ guilds, and to Red Granite’s lenders.
“Any portion of the proceeds from the two films that are due to Red Granite will be held in segregated accounts pending a ruling on the government’s asset forfeiture request. Prosecutors are ultimately seeking to return funds to the Malaysian people”, said the report.
Red Granite’s latest film, a remake of the 1973 prison-break film “Papillon,” is about to start production, according to a person involved with the film, Variety reported.
Red Granite was co-founded by Riza Aziz, the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.