The very first thing audiences will see next weekend when the lights go down for Justice League is a logo for RatPac-Dune Entertainment – the financing company of disgraced Hollywood producer/director Brett Ratner.
Gal Gadot is reportedly saying enough is enough.
As Page Six reported this weekend, citing an unnamed “Hollywood source,” the Wonder Woman star won’t play the character again unless Ratner’s association with the franchise is severed completely. Warner Bros. tells us that the report is patently false, and Gadot’s publicist did not respond to messages seeking confirmation.
Asked about the report on Saturday night, Gadot deflected. “Let’s just have a nice night,” she told Vanity Fair.
Gadot is in a tough spot here. If she confirms the Page Six report, she risks her relationship with the studio that’s made her a megastar. Denying it opens her up to the question of, “So you are willing to be associated with this guy?”
Which she’s clearly not: Last month, Gadot canceled her appearance at an awards celebration honoring the director and producer ahead of reports of misconduct by the Los Angeles Times. Ratner has denied any inappropriate behavior.
The Rush Hour director was a producer on Wonder Woman, and his company RatPac-Dune partnered with Warner Bros. to co-finance the movie, meaning it owns a piece of the $821 million and counting in worldwide box office earnings. (Though RatPac-Dune is a financial partner on Justice League, that’s as far as his association with that movie goes.)
Warner Bros. canceled his production deal in light of the allegations, but the future of his company’s $450-million co-financing agreement with the studio is not yet clear.
According to Page Six, Gadot wants Warners to buy Ratner out of his deal so he can be removed completely. While it’s not clear if Gadot’s contract allows her to step away from the sequel without facing legal consequences, Page Six‘s source — described as a WB insider — seems to think she’s negotiating from a position of strength.
“She’s tough and stands by her principles. She also knows the best way to hit people like Brett Ratner is in the wallet,” the source said. “She also knows that Warner Bros. has to side with her on this issue as it develops. They can’t have a movie rooted in women’s empowerment being part-financed by a man accused of sexual misconduct against women.”
Ratner made headlines earlier this month when six women — Olivia Munn, Natasha Henstridge, Jaime Ray Newman, Katharine Towne, Eri Sasaki, and Jorina King — all went public with their stories of Ratner’s inappropriate behavior on and off of movie sets.
He was also in the news again this week when Ellen Page detailed her own experience — which included sexist and homophobic remarks along with sexual harassment — on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand, which Ratner directed. Although he denied the claim, Page’s X-Menco-star Anna Paquin stepped up to corroborate the account, which she claims to have witnessed.
Gadot previously addressed Hollywood’s increasingly public bad behavior in an October Instagram post in which she decried bullying and sexual harassment as “unacceptable.”
This Wonder Woman sequel rumor, if true, amounts to a much more tangible action. It could be a sign that — even as more stories continue to pile on — consequences for longtime offenders might not be so far off, even for those who may be legally in the clear.
BY ADAM ROSENBERG
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