LOS ANGELES (CN) – Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” has not yet even wrapped production, and its makers have taken to court to fight over the credits.
Alexandra Milchan says she spent years developing the film with (nonparty) Warner Brothers, but the company sold the rights to the film to Red Granite Pictures in 2011.
Now that it has control of the project, Red Granite has allegedly refused to honor a producer’s agreement Milchan signed in 2007. Red Granite tried to change the terms of the deal, then froze Milchan out of the project altogether, according to her complaint, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Red Granite, meanwhile, claims that Milchan and her company EMJAG Productions lost their rights to “The Wolf of Wall Street” when Warner abandoned the project.
Also filed Friday, and in the same court, the production company’s complaint says it is making the film “independently of any efforts on the part of Milchan,” got Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio to sign on, and says Milchan had “no involvement in the making of the film.”
Days earlier, Cecchi Gori Pictures sued Scorsese, claiming that the director leapfrogged an obligation to make the movie “Silence” in favor of “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Scorsese is not a party to either of the two lawsuits filed on Aug. 24.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who was part of a massive securities fraud case during the 1990s. The movie, slated for release in 2013, stars DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey.
Milchan says she was the “driving force behind the film,” developed the script with screenwriter Terence Winter, and attached Scorsese and DiCaprio.
“Emulating the fraud and corruption which permeates the film, defendant Red Granite, the company making the film now refuses to honor Milchan and EMJAG rights as a producer after numerous attempts to ‘strong-arm’ them into accepting a lesser role failed,” the 16-page complaint says.
Milchan says she deserves a “produced by” credit, $700,000 in fixed pay, and backend compensation, but says Red Granite reduced her fee to $250,000 and told her that she would only get an executive producer credit, according to the complaint.
Bryan Freedman of Freedman & Taitelman represents Milchan in her claims of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
Red Granite is represented by Barry Mallen of Loeb & Leob. It seeks a declaratory judgment that the production company is not obligated to honor Milchan’s producer loan-out agreement.
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