LOS ANGELES (CN) – A producer refiled claims that United Talent Agency misappropriated a screenplay he’d commissioned to make the Clint Eastwood movie “Trouble With The Curve,” this time in a $5 million lawsuit in state court.
Producer Ryan Brooks and his company Gold Glove Productions sued United Talent Agency in 2013 in Federal Court.
Brooks alleged copyright infringement against screenwriters Don Handfield and his wife Tressa DiFiglia Handfield, their loanout Back to the Lab, musician and “aspiring” screenwriter Randy Brown, his loanout Johnny 99 Films, and literary agent Charles Ferraro.
U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer dismissed the copyright claims in February this year, giving Brooks the option to refile his remaining claims in state court, Brooks says.
Brooks did just that on Monday in a Superior Court complaint alleging breach of contract and unfair business practices.
Eastwood is not a party to either lawsuit.
Brooks claims he hired Handfield in January 2005 to write a screenplay based on his original idea and three years later hired Handfield and DiFiglia through his company Omaha to revise the script for $25,000.
According to Brooks, the screenwriters breached the confidentiality clause of the 2008 agreement by sharing the screenplay with UTA, which passed the script to Brown.
The musician “used the idea embodied in the screenplay” to “purportedly” write the script that would eventually become 2012’s “Trouble With The Curve,” starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams, and directed by Robert Lorenz, Brooks says in the new complaint.
“(A)t the time his script for the film was sold, Brown was in his mid-50s and a musician who had no credits as the writer of a motion picture screenplay. Nor does he have any such credits since the film,” according to the complaint.
Brooks says he believes Handfield and DiFiglia allowed Brown to take credit “in an attempt to conceal their actions” in breaching the confidentiality agreement.
He seeks punitive damages, costs and disgorgement of fees, commissions and salaries.
He is represented by Glen Kulik with Kulik Gottesman & Siegel of Sherman Oaks.
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