LOS ANGELES (CN) – Writer and director Nick Cassavetes says New Line Cinema owes him $1 million after backing out of a deal to have him direct a movie he rewrote.
Cassavetes, son of iconic director John Cassavetes, says New Line hired him as director and script supervisor for a movie called “Elephant Orphanage” or “The Peaceable Kingdom.”
He says New Line promised him $275,000 to supervise the script, $750,000 to direct, and a $25,000 office fee.
In his Superior Court complaint, Cassavetes claims the script needed to be completely rewritten. He says New Line agreed to pay for the extra work, and called the finished script “excellent.”
Cassavetes says he also did a second rewrite, incorporating New Line’s suggestions and changes. That’s when New Line said would not be directing the movie, Cassavetes says.
He claims New Line never intended to let him direct, but tried to avoid paying him his usual writer’s fee by hiring him under a writer-director contract.
Cassavetes says New Line owes him $1.05 million.
Cassavetes directed New Line projects “The Notebook” and “My Sister’s Keeper.”
Cassavetes and his production company, Virginia/Sasha, are represented by Vivian Lum with Robertson & Lum.