Warner Bros. Seeks Striking or Arbitration of `Matrix' Suit

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Warner Bros. filed court papers seeking either the striking or the forced arbitration of ``The Matrix Resurrections'' co- producer Village Roadshow Films' recently amended complaint alleging the studio's decision to release the film simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters was a breach of contract.  

In the original suit filed Feb. 7 in Los Angeles Superior Court, Village Roadshow also alleges that Warner Bros. moved the release date of the film to 2021 from 2022 to help HBO Max attract more subscribers, purposely harming the film's box office receipts as a result.  

Village Roadshow then filed an amended complaint on March 25, adding Warner Media LLC as a defendant.  

Warner Bros. attorneys state in new court papers filed Thursday that the revised complaint was brought in alleged violation of a Feb. 15 court order imposing a stay on the case. They also maintain that the plaintiff's lawyers stated only a few weeks earlier that they planned no such amendment.  

``In the event the court declines to strike the ... amended complaint, it should compel arbitration of all claims made therein,'' the Warner Bros. lawyers argue in their court papers.  

All but Village Roadshow's added claim for breach of the state's Unfair Competition Law are a rehash of its original complaint and it also is subject to arbitration along with the declaratory relief cause of action, Warner Bros. attorney maintain in their court papers.  

A hearing on Warner Bros. bid to force arbitration is scheduled May 17 before Judge David Cunningham.

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