Hollywood heavyweight Brett Ratner has found himself at the center of some ugly allegations over the past few weeks. The super producer was initially accused by approximately a half dozen women of sexual harassment. Then, earlier this week, he was accused by Ellen Page of outing her in a particularly vicious way at a cast party on the set of X-Men: The Last Stand, as well as saying sexist and derogatory things throughout the shoot. His proposed Hugh Hefner movie was also cancelled. Now, if the latest rumors are to be believed, actress Gal Gadot has asked Warner Bros to remove Ratner and/or his company RatPac-Dune Entertainment from producing Wonder Woman 2.
Neither Gadot nor Ratner has commented publicly on the alleged request, but some smoke has been building behind the scenes of Wonder Woman 2 for awhile. The first movie was distributed by Warner Bros, but it was co-produced by RatPac-Dune Entertainment, as part of a larger deal Brett Ratner's company shares with the studio. Following the incredible success of the superhero movie, Gadot was scheduled to present Ratner with the Tree Of Life award, but around the same time as an Instagram post decrying sexual harassment and bullying, she bailed, telling the organization she had a scheduling conflict.
In the wake of the recent allegations against Ratner, the director and producer announced he was "stepping away" from Warner Bros. The studio allegedly even quickly got rid of his office on the lot, but according to Page Six, that's not enough for Gadot. She allegedly doesn't want to see Ratner profit on the backend from Wonder Woman 2. If the story is to be believed, she has asked the studio to buy him and/or his company out of the financing deal for the sequel. Warner Bros is claiming this is false; so, make sure and treat everything here as an unsubstantiated rumor.
Brett Ratner first emerged as a Hollywood force in the late 1990s after he directed Rush Hour. The film grossed almost $250,000,000 worldwide and opened up a slew of further opportunities. He later directed an X-Men movie, produced the Horrible Bosses franchise, The Revenant, War Dogs and many more. More strikingly, the company he co-founded and co-owns, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, has co-produced hundreds of additional movies including The Lego Movie, Edge Of Tomorrow, Creed, Batman V Superman and Wonder Woman.
As with The Weinstein Company, dealing with the fallout from a company's founder being accused of sexual misconduct is far more complicated than dealing with a sole actor or director. Many projects and many employees completed unrelated to the allegations are now caught in the middle of something they had nothing to do with, and there are serious legal ramifications for a studio like Warner Bros trying to extricate itself from a partnership. Beyond that, Ratner has denied all the allegations against him, and nothing has been proven in a court of law.
It's unlikely this situation will receive the same attention as ones involving more prominent actors, but given how powerful RatPac-Dune Entertainment has become, the fallout from this will likely alter and change far more films currently in development.