MGM tries to block Raging Bull 2

Ben Arnold

MGM is trying to block the release of 'Raging Bull 2', a prequel to Martin Scorcese's Oscar-winning boxing epic.

The studio owns the rights to the 1980 original, and is claiming that the new film will tarnish the legacy of the first, and that it should have been offered first refusal on its rights, according to Deadline.

It has launched a suit against the producers of the film and against 91-year-old former boxer Jake LaMotta, the story of whom was told in 'Raging Bull' and who wrote the 1986 follow-up book the sequel is being based on. It is demanding that filming in Los Angeles be stopped.

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MGM also wants damages from the producers of the film 'awarded in an amount sufficient to punish [the defendants] and to deter those who would commit or knowingly seek to profit from similar actions, now or in the future'.

Where LaMotta was played by Robert DeNiro in the first film, the young LaMotta will be played by newcomer Morjean Aria in 'Raging Bull 2', a prequel to the events in 'Raging Bull', while a present day version of LaMotta will be played by William Forsythe.

Also among the cast are 'Saving Private Ryan' star Tom Sizemore, Penelope Ann Miller and Joe Mantegna.

The film is slated for release next year.