LOS ANGELES (CN) - A film investment company on Thursday sued Zero Gravity Management for breach of contract, claiming it was frozen out of a deal to co-produce "The Accountant" after Ben Affleck signed on to star in the movie.
Palmstar Media Capital sued Zero Gravity, its principal Mark Williams and producer Lynette Howell in Superior Court.
Affleck is not a party to the lawsuit.
Palmstar claims that in September it entered into a "binding co-production" agreement with Zero Gravity Management to produce "The Accountant."
It claims that it has been named in industry publications as co-producer of the film.
After the agreement was signed, Palmstar claims, it contacted agents about the availability of Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Wahlberg, Chris Pine and Benedict Cumberbatch - none of whom are involved in this lawsuit.
Within weeks, Williams and Howell broke the agreement by going behind Palmstar's back to secure Affleck for the movie, Palmstar claims.
Palmstar claims to be represented by William Morris Endeavor Entertainment agent Graham Taylor, who is Howell's husband, according to the lawsuit. Affleck is a client at the agency.
"Despite Taylor's obvious conflict of interest, neither he, nor Williams or Howell disclosed to plaintiff that they were pursuing Affleck as the lead in the film. In fact, only after defendants secured Affleck's commitment to star in the film did defendants cut plaintiff loose and exclude plaintiff from producing the film," the 8-page complaint states.
Palmstar says it found out from an independent source that the filmmaker attached to direct the film, Gavin O'Connor, was meeting Affleck to discuss starring in the film.
"Immediately after plaintiff brought this matter to defendants' attention, on September 24, 2014, Williams assured plaintiff that he had only known about the purported O'Connor/Affleck meeting for 24 hours, and Taylor had requested that Williams not inform plaintiff about it," the complaint states.
"Williams asked plaintiff to stand by for 24 hours while Williams determined if the information was, in fact, real. At that time, Williams once again reaffirmed to plaintiff that the agreement was closed and they were still co-producing the film pursuant to the agreement."
Palmstar says that the very day, Sept. 25, Affleck was formally attached to the film. It claims that Affleck decided to do the project at Warner Bros., without Palmstar's involvement.
Zero Gravity, Howell and Williams breached the agreement by "scheming" to secure Affleck, and cutting Palmstar loose once the deal was done, Palmstar claims.
Palmstar seeks damages and costs.
It is represented by Bryan Freedman with Freedman + Taitelman.
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