Warner Bros. severs remaining ties to Brett Ratner after multiple sexual misconduct allegations

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Apr 13, 2018

Warner Bros. Pictures has opted not to renew a massive co-financing deal with director and producer Brett Ratner's company RatPac-Dune Entertainment, effectively ending the studio's relationship with the filmmaker months after multiple women came forward accusing him of various forms of sexual misconduct.

The $450 million deal between the two companies, which covered up to 75 films, was set to expire this spring, and a Warner spokesperson has confirmed to The Los Angeles Times that the studio will not continue its relationship with RatPac-Dune. The last film released under the agreement will be the Dwayne Johnson-headlined Rampage, which hit theaters this week.

RatPac-Dune's partnership with Warner Bros. stretched back to 2013, and involved the company chipping in "roughly 25%" of the cost of Warner Bros. films it invested in. Over the last four years RatPac-Dune served as a major financial player in several major Warner Bros. box office hits, including genre blockbusters like GravityThe Lego MovieBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Wonder Woman.

The end of the RatPac-Dune deal is the last major step in a series of moves Warner has made to distance itself from Ratner beginning last November, when the L.A. Times published a story in which six women — including X-Men: Apocalypse star Olivia Munn and Species star Natasha Henstridge — accused Ratner of misconduct. The same day, Warner Bros. announced that it would not renew a first-look deal with Ratner's production company, RatPac Entertainment (the co-financing deal is a separate partnership with Dune Entertainment).

Days later, genre fans in particular became more acutely aware of the story when a report surfaced that Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot would refuse to participate in a sequel to the film (RatPac-Dune was one of Wonder Woman's financiers) if Ratner was involved in any way. Those reports were later clarified by director Patty Jenkins, who said the decision to remove Ratner from the franchise was not simply one Gadot made in protest, but a "foregone conclusion" that had been in the works since allegations against Ratner came to light. However it started, by mid-November Ratner was no longer involved in Wonder Woman 2.

Ratner has denied all of the allegations against him (including those of an additional five women who came forward later in November 2017) and announced last year that he intended to "step away" from Warner Bros. for a while. Now it seems he will not have the opportunity to go back. The studio will look for another major financier to fill the void left by RatPac-Dune (which itself was filling the void left when Legendary Entertainment ended its own agreement with Warner), but it's unclear what will happen to the company itself. Its other co-founders, Steven Mnuchin and James Packer, have long since sold their stakes in the company, and Ratner has remained largely quiet about his professional future since the allegations came to light.