(CN) – Actor Brendan Fraser says he was set to star in a 3-D movie about Swiss folk hero William Tell, but the producer was unable to secure funding and now owes him $3 million for continued production delays.
Fraser says Arclight Studios approached him in early 2011 and asked him to star in the movie “William Tell…The Legend (3-D),” based on “the legendary Swiss folk hero who inspired a rebellion against Austrian tyranny and is best know as the expert marksman who shot an apple off his son’s head using a cross-bow,” according to the complaint in the West District of Los Angeles Superior Court.
Todd Moyer, head of production company Tell 3-D, allegedly told Fraser that the filming would begin in October 2011, and Fraser says he turned down other acting offers to appear in “William Tell.”
However, the film was not ready to begin shooting by October because the script “needed a substantial amount of work,” according to the complaint.
“The script, as then written, was very dark and serious, and Fraser believed and Moyer concurred that a motion picture based on that script would be inaccessible to a wide audience. Accordingly, Moyer agreed to hire new writers to rewrite the script,” the complaint states.
Even though he assured Fraser that the movie would start filming by the Spring of 2012, Moyer “was evasive about the details” and had difficulty finding funding for the movie, according to the complaint.
Moyer continues to delay production of the movie to avoid his obligations under his contract with Fraser, according to the complaint.
“Moyer has also failed to hire any crew for the production and it appears that Defendants lack adequate financing to commence principal photography, as evidenced by the fact that Defendants breached their obligation to put Fraser’s $2,025,000 fee in escrow and their failure to hire any crew to work on the Picture,” the lawsuit states.
Fraser says he had a “pay or play” contract, meaning Moyer and his company must pay him fixed compensation whether or not he stars in the movie.
Fraser and his loanout company sued for breach of contract, fraud, and promissory estoppel. He seeks $3 million.
The actor is represented by Martin Singer and Allison Hart of Lavely & Singer.