Quentin Tarantino’s plans to sell a collection of Pulp Fiction NFTs may be thwarted by a lawsuit from the film’s studio Miramax.
The lawsuit claims that Tarantino’s plan to sell some internet art for internet money forced the studio to “enforce, preserve, and protect its contractual and intellectual property rights relating to one of Miramax’s most iconic and valuable film properties.” If he was allowed to go ahead with the sales, the studio argued in the complaint, “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.”
Disappointingly, the NFT collection is not a set of the auteur’s favorite feet pics, but never-before-seen items from his 1994 cult classic Pulp Fiction. The specific contents of the auction are a secret (the site uses the word “secret” more than 20 times), but a description of the auction says it would include Tarantino’s handwritten screenplay of the “Royale with cheese” scene, and a “unique recording of Quentin Tarantino, revealing secrets that only exist in the original.” It’s done in partnership with Secret Network, a company that’s making NFTs that come with content that’s hidden from the public until someone buys them.
“I’m excited to be presenting these exclusive scenes from Pulp Fiction to fans,” Tarantino said in a statement in November, according to the Associated Press. “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.” Similar to Azealia Banks’ sex tape NFT from earlier this year, the actual contents are not made public by default, but the new owner would have the right to do whatever they want with it.
Now, it’s unclear if the auction will even take place. A lawyer for Tarantino argued in response to Miramax’s cease and desist that the director holds the rights to print publication of the script—but Miramax claims that selling NFTs is different from publication.
"The proposed sale of a few original script pages or scenes as an NFT is a one-time transaction, which does not constitute publication, and in any event does not fall within the intended meaning of 'print publication' or 'screenplay publication,'" the lawsuit says. "The right to sell NFTs of such excerpts of any version of the screenplay to Pulp Fiction is owned and controlled by Miramax."
Bart Williams, a Proskauer Rose LLP partner who is representing Miramax, told the Hollywood Reporter that those involved “chose to recklessly, greedily, and intentionally disregard the agreement that Quentin signed instead of following the clear legal and ethical approach of simply communicating with Miramax about his proposed ideas.”
A representative for Tarantino did not immediately respond to a request for comment.