The two giant media companies signed an agreement with Genting Malaysia back in 2013, according to a report by The New York Times. However, Genting now claims that Fox pulled out of the agreement at the last second, denying Resort World Genting licenses for a Fox World theme park.
Now, Genting is seeking at least $1 billion in damages from both Fox Entertainment and the Walt Disney Company, as the two corporations prepare to merge. A lawsuit was reportedly filed in California on Monday, claiming that Genting had already invested $180 million into Fox World before the project was halted.
The Fox World Theme Park was initially scheduled to open in the first half of 2019. According to the lawsuit, it would have included attractions and rides from the Ice Age franchise, and even Planet of the Apes. It would have been the company's first foray into theme parks, though now that it is teaming up with Disney, it has far more options.
The lawsuit notes that Fox issued a "notice of default" to Genting, yet the company says that it was too late to pull out of the deal by then. Furthermore, Genting accuses 21st Century Fox and Disney of tampering with the contract so that the licensing and merchandising of Twentieth Century Fox properties are in violation.
So far, Disney has not responded to the lawsuit or reports of its alleged interference. The company was reportedly unhappy with the park plans, as they included a casino. Disney parks do not typically allow gambling, and the company has a strong stance against it in general.
The Times reported that Genting wants at least $1 billion in damages for the canceled project, though the number could be far higher. An report by Deadline describes the damages as "$1.75 billion and counting."
“On information and belief, Fox’s soon-to-be owner Disney was now calling the shots, and its objective was no longer renegotiation of the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement), but termination,” reads the suit. “Permitting the ‘Fox’ brand to attach to a theme park over which FOX would have no control for what could amount to decades would have created business complications that Disney and 21CF preferred to avoid.”