Quentin Tarantino sued by Miramax after trying to sell Pulp Fiction NFTs

Quentin Tarantino and the Pulp Fiction NFTs
The legendary director isn't the only celebrity to run into NFT difficulties. Photo credit: Getty Images

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) continue to attract big money and big names, but Quentin Tarantino is finding out it's not as easy as it looks to jump aboard the NFT express.

The legendary movie director is being sued by Miramax for breach of contract, copyright infringement and trademark violation after announcing he was going to sell 'secret NFTs' based on his movie Pulp Fiction.

Each NFT would have a publicly viewable portion as well as content only visible to the owner, including handwritten scripts of the movie and exclusive custom commentary from Tarantino revealing secrets about the film and its creator.

Tarantino previously said he was "excited to be presenting these exclusive scenes from Pulp Fiction to fans", but that's likely to be tempered by the lawsuit from the studio that partnered with him on many of his big hits.

Miramax still owns rights to the 1994 classic movie and says Tarantino has interfered with the its own NFT plans, branding it a "deliberate, premeditated, short-term money grab" according to Variety.

The lawsuit claims the director made no attempts to contact the company before announcing the NFTs, which "is particularly problematic because he granted and assigned nearly all of his rights to Pulp Fiction to Miramax including the rights necessary for the 'secrets from Pulp Fiction' that he intends to sell".

The film studio sent him a cease-and-desist letter to halt the sales, but Tarantino "remains undeterred and has refused to comply" with its demands, saying instead the plans "intensified and expanded".

Tarantino himself hasn't responded to the lawsuit, but the Twitter account @TarantinoNFTs - set up to publicise the sale - isn't backing down.

"NFTs are meant to empower creators, connecting them directly with their audiences and communities. Now some in the media world want to take a massive step back," it said.

"We stand with creators."

The director isn't the only high-profile name to find out the NFT scene is more complicated than it might appear.

While cartoon apes and pixelated punks continue to draw millions of dollars in purchases each day, celebrities have found it harder to retain value.

An NFT from Grimes which originally sold for US$7500 has just been resold for US$1200, an 84 percent drop while an A$AP Rocky token went for US$900 after costing US$2000 initially.

Pro-wrestler turned actor John Cena's experience was even worse.

Despite television adverts and fungible goods to go along with the token, the WWE star sold just 37 out of 500 created, leading The Suicide Squad star to brand it a "catastrophic failure".

"Myself and the folks in the WWE thought US$1000 was a fair price point: We were wrong. We were absolutely wrong," Cena said in September.

"I'm like, man, with a value like that, the 500 of them will be gone. We sold 37 of them."