Miramax, the studio behind Pulp Fiction, has filed a lawsuit against director Quentin Tarantino over an NFT project connected to the film.
Earlier this month, Tarantino announced plans to put seven uncut scenes from 1993’s Pulp Fiction up for auction as Secret NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on NFT marketplace OpenSea.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Miramax sent a cease-and-desist letter to Tarantino regarding the project, to no effect. The studio claims they’re in talks about potential NFT partnerships based on its film library, but Tarantino’s announcement devalues those plans.
The lawsuit reads: “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.
“Left unchecked, Tarantino’s conduct could mislead others into believing Miramax is involved in this 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.”
As reported by THR, Tarantino’s contract with Miramax for Pulp Fiction meant that 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 novelisation, in audio and electronic formats as well, as applicable), interactive media, theatrical and television sequel and remake rights, and television series and spin-off rights.”
In response to the cease-and-desist letter, Tarantino’s attorney claims the director was acting within his “Reserved Rights”, naming the right to “screenplay publication” specifically.
In a statement issued to NME following the lawsuit, Bryan Freedman, attorney for Quentin Tarantino, said: “Miramax is wrong – plain and simple. Quentin Tarantino’s contract is clear: he has the right to sell NFTs of his hand-written script for Pulp Fiction and this ham-fisted attempt to prevent him from doing so will fail.
“But Miramax’s callous decision to disclose confidential information about its filmmakers’ contracts and compensation will irreparably tarnish its reputation long after this case is dismissed.”
In a statement announcing his NFT plans earlier this month, Tarantino said: “I’m excited to be presenting these exclusive scenes from Pulp Fiction to fans.
“Secret Network and Secret NFTs provide a whole new world of connecting fans and artists and I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”
The project offers uncut handwritten scripts of Pulp Fiction and custom commentary from Tarantino. They’re built on the Secret Network platform, which is a blockchain ecosystem that aims to prioritise privacy – meaning that the owner of the NFT will be the only person who can view the content.
Many artists have started to release NFT projects. David Lynch, for example, teamed up with Interpol recently to offer fans the chance to own their 2011 Coachella performance.