Quentin Tarantino’s Best Movie Just Went Through A Huge Lawsuit

By James Brizuela | 2 months ago

quentin tarantino

A lawsuit between Miramax and photographer Firooz Zahedi has finally settled. The case was over the photograph rights to one of the most popular images attached to one of the most popular Quentin Tarantino films. Pulp Fiction is the film and the photograph is the one of Uma Thurman as Mia Wallace. She is lying down and holding a cigarette in the image. This poster image is of huge notoriety and has been plastered on countless items since 1994.

Firooz Zahedi has been a mainstay in photography, having galleries in Los Angele, and his work appear in many magazines over the years. He took the image of Thurman in his private studio back in April of 1994, which then ended up on the poster for Quentin Tarantino’s film. He began his lawsuit with Miramax over, “untold thousands of consumer products.” That is certainly true as his famous image has appeared on posters, shirts, lunch boxes, and all manner of collectible items through the years. However, according to a judge’s ruling, Zahedi waited too long to file his complaint.

pulp fiction uma thurman
Pulp Fiction DVD Cover With Uma Thurman Image

Miramax claims that they had brought in Zahedi on a work-for-hire agreement, but they couldn’t locate the paperwork to prove this to the court. Zahedi could have been in better shape with his case, being that the studio had allowed this image to be plastered on so much memorabilia, but a post on Instagram helped win the case for the studio. As Miramax owns the rights to Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino is likely of no help in this matter.

Zahedi’s stepson posted an action figure on Instagram that used the image in question, but back in 2015. The caption read, “Happy Birthday to my Stepdad @fitzphoto [emojis] Turns out he didn’t get toy royalties for his famous photo of Uma TM… But at least he has the toy now…” Zahedi then commented on the Instagram post himself, proving he had seen it and was therefore aware of the image being in use. This was all the evidence that the court needed to rule in favor of Miramax, as a complaint must be filed within three years of the alleged violation of rights to said image. Quentin Tarantino wrote and released this film in the early 90s, so Zahedi is a bit late on his wanting his fair share of the profits.

This ruling on the Quentin Tarantino movie is one that has been a problem in Hollywood for quite some time, as rights to films and shows have been a subject of controversy many times over in the legal system. Jerry Seinfeld won a similar case in regards to his Comedians in Coffee Getting Cars show. The lawsuit saw the pilot director suing Seinfeld over rights of compensation and creation. Seinfeld won the case due to the director of the pilot waiting too long to file his complaint. They worked together in 2012 and he filed the complaint in 2018.

The sad fact is that Quentin Tarantino has no say in the rights to his most beloved film, and Firooz Zahedi will just have to deal with not getting his fair share of the Pulp Fiction memorabilia profits. Always complain immediately. That’s the golden rule here.