The High Court in Ireland heard this week that a German film company may seek an injunction over plans to make Vikings: Valhalla, Netflix’s recently revealed sequel to hit series Vikings.
Lawyers for Berlin-based W2 Filmproduktion said on Thursday that W2 may seek an injunction as part of its ongoing action against Vikings producers Morgan O'Sullivan and James Flynn of Octagon Films, which is also a producer on the spin-off series.
W2 has alleged the producers have diverted around €40M out of Octagon, of which they are shareholders. The case, which began in 2016, returned to court this week. O'Sullivan and Flynn strongly deny W2’s allegations.
During Thursday's proceedings, lawyers for W2 told the court the company had only learned about the Vikings spin-off through the media. W2 claims the fees generated from the original series are a central issue in the action and that it fears funds generated by Vikings: Valhalla, which the German firm alleges should go to Octagon, will be diverted to the defendants. Counsel said they considered this was a breach of undertakings previously given to the High Court by the defendants and may result in W2 seeking injunction relief.
Today, O'Sullivan and Flynn’s lawyers said they did not accept W2’s suggestion that the spin-off series breached undertakings previously given to the court.
The judge was asked by the defendants for a 12-month extension in order to comply with a court order to produce documents relating to dozens of film and TV productions. However, today the judge advised that a substantial volume of documents must be supplied by January 17. The case will reconvene in court on January 31.
W2, overseen by CEO Winfried Hammacher The Liberator, is a 49% shareholder in Octagon, which is among the most successful production companies in Ireland with credits including Vikings, The Tudors, Love/Hate, Penny Dreadful and The Borgias. Flynn is a producer on movies including Neil Jordan's Greta and John Michael McDonagh's Calvary, while O'Sullivan was a co-producer on films such as Leap Year, P.S I Love You and Becoming Jane.
Netflix’s Vikings sequel was revealed last week, with Michael Hirst, Jeb Stuart, MGM TV and producer O’Sullivan all noted as being aboard. It is all due to be filmed in Ireland where the original series was shot.
We have reached out to Octagon, Netflix and MGM for comment.