LOS ANGELES (CN) – Chris Pine’s former agent claims in court that the Hollywood actor owes the agency hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid commissions.
SDB Partners Inc. claims it took Pine from obscurity to become an “internationally renowned actor who could command a seven figure payday,” signing him up for roles including Captain James T. Kirk in the new “Star Trek” franchise, and as Tom Clancy’s CIA agent Jack Ryan.
SDB sued Pine and his loanout company, SIR HC ENIP, in Superior Court.
The agency claims that it took a chance on the actor, who had no professional experience, “even though no on else was willing to touch Pine.”
During his 9-year stint with SDB, Pine professed his loyalty to the agency but abruptly fired it by email late last year, the complaint states.
“Moreover, Pine apparently does not intend to continue paying SDB its commissions on projects that SDB had helped bring to Pine, including ‘Star Trek’ and the Jack Ryan films. That is, Pine apparently does not believe that loyalty to his agents includes paying SDB the commissions that it is owed. After Pine discharged SDB by email, SDB confirmed in writing that Pine was required to continue paying SDB commissions on certain projects. Pine responded with silence. Though SDB has not heard from Pine since SDB’s discharge, Pine’s silence is very telling,” the complaint states.
The talent agency claims that Pine sent it this email on Nov. 11, 2011: “‘After much thought and consideration, I have decided that it is best for me to leave. I hope that you will understand that this decision was very difficult for me to make because I owe much of the success in my career to all of you. At our last group meeting I explained that I was frustrated and needed more than what I was getting from the agency. I thought that with some time, perhaps, my feelings might change but unfortunately they have not. Please know that I recognize what great advocates you have been for me and that you have invested your time and energy into building my career. None of this do I take lightly or for granted. That is why this has been so agonizing for me. I hope that you can respect my decision and accept it as final.
I wish you, Steven, Ro and Susie nothing but the best. Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year. If you need to discuss anything further please contact, John.
WIth [sic] much appreciation and gratitude.'”
SDB claims that Pine must pay it a 10 percent commission under contracts for the first Jack Ryan movie and its sequels, for the action comedy “This Means War,” for the independent drama “Welcome To People,” and more than 20 other “commissionable projects,” including an untitled Steve McQueen biopic.
The agency claims that Pine already owes it more than $180,000 in commissions, and that is helped the actor earn millions of dollars for roles. That includes a $1.5 million payday for the first “Star Trek” movie, $3 million for Denzel Washington vehicle “Unstoppable,” $5 million for “This Means War,” and $4 million for the first Jack Ryan movie, the complaint states.
Pine will receive millions more when he reprises his roles in two planned “Star Trek” sequels and another two Jack Ryan movies, according to the complaint.
“Whether Pine is being misguided by his handlers or has simply been blinded by his success and fame, Pine apparently needs a refresher course on his obligation to compensate SDB for what SDB has done for him. Through this lawsuit, SDB seeks to not only recover its commissions on millions of dollars that Pine has already earned, but also the millions of dollars that Pine will continue to earn as a result of SDB’s prior hard work and dedication to Pine’s career,” the complaint states.
SDB Partners Inc. seeks an accounting and damages for breach of implied contract.
It is represented by Bryan Freedman with Freedman & Taitelman.
Neither the law firm nor Pine’s representatives immediately responded to requests for comment.