On behalf of Roger Martin Corman and Brian William Corman, sons of director/producer Roger Corman, Venable partner Alex Weingarten filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court asking the court to block the sale of the Corman film library to Shout! Factory and Ace Film. The complaint claims that Roger and his wife, Julie Corman, illegally sold the New Horizon Pictures library, which has 270 of some of his best-known films, and that the library is owned by a family trust. The sons are co-trustees and beneficiaries of the trust. The complaint also alleges that their mother, Julie, has berated and abused their 91-year-old father in order to force him to undermine the irrevocable trust created in 1978.
In an interview with The Daily Journal, Weingarten said, "Unlike in the past, when Roger encouraged meetings or discussions with the children about family finances and their interest as beneficiaries of the trust, Julie insisted that he refrain from discussing such matters with their children."
Weingarten told IndieWire that Roger Martin and Brian Corman "had heard rumors" of the sale, but their parents’ counsel sent him a letter stating, "'We're not selling anything that’s an asset of The Pacific Trust.'" The sons learned that the library actually had a prospective new home only "through the media."
Weingarten said these parties (the parents' counsel and the buyers) "have refused to disclose the specifics of that transaction, whether or not money has actually changed hands yet."
The lawsuit will not come as a "surprise" to Roger and Julie Corman, said Weingarten: "Once the sale was announced, we tried to resolve this before having to go to court. And we were ignored." Since filing the lawsuit, he has not heard from Shout! Factory or China-based Ace Film, "But we anticipate speaking to them shortly."
News of the filing received significant media coverage from Variety, New York Times, The Blast, Deadline, IMDb, MSN Entertainment, and SYFY Wire, among others.