UPDATE, 7:05 PM: Well, that didn’t take long. Just hours after the producers of 10 Things I Hate About Life went after actress Evan Rachel Wood for more $30 million for allegedly leaving their movie, the actress’ reps responded. Calling today’s lawsuit “preposterous,” Team Wood claimed this is all because the producers ran out of cash, not because the actress wouldn’t be in the film. Read the statement here:
“The lawsuit is preposterous and simply a bullying tactic from financially troubled producers. The production shut down in February 2013 when the producers ran out of money. Even after that, Evan agreed to resume production in Nov. 2013 by which time the producers said they would have cleared up their issues. However, the producers still could not get their act together, nor did they pay Evan money that was owed. Repeated subsequent promises by the producers to resume production and pay Evan also turned out to be false. Enough is enough. The producers, not Evan, have breached contract.”
PREVIOUSLY, 6:39 PM: Nearly a year and a half after Evan Rachel Wood allegedly backed out of 10 Things I Hate About Life, the producers are going after the actress for more than $30 million. 10 Things Film LLC today filed a breach of written agreement and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing complaint in LA Superior Court against Wood and her loan-out company. “Plaintiff has suffered significant and extensive damages and financial harm, including, but not limited to, the loss of, at a minimum, $6,000,000.00 in equity investments, costs and related expenses in the Picture financing costs and expenses in the amount of, at a minimum, $500,000.00, lost profits in the amount of, at a minimum, $20,000,000.00 and additional general and special damages in the amount of $5,000,000.00,” said the producers in their 10-page complaint (read it here).
My colleague Mike Fleming Jr. first reported back on November 14, 2012 the news of the CAA-repped Wood joining the Gil Junger-directed rom-com about a couple who meet while each is attempting to commit suicide. Less than two weeks later, the producers and Wood entered into a deal where she was paid $300,000 up front for her role in the film. Andrew Lazar was producing with Junger and Intandem Films CEO Gary Smith.
All good until January 14 when, after four weeks of shooting, the production was shut down for reasons unexplained in today’s complaint. That’s when things went off the rails one way or another. “Thereafter, on or around February 8, 2013, in connection with the scheduled recommencement of principal photography, Evan Rachel Wood expressly represented to the Producer that, for personal reasons, she was unable and unwilling to continue with principal photography at present time, and would be unable to recommence principal photography until approximately November 2013,” says the complaint. And that, after only 11 days of principal photography from Wood and a series of back-and-forths between her reps and the producers, was that for the actress and the movie. Wood did not return in fall 2013. “Defendants, at all times, were well-aware as to the severe and substantial adverse consequences and harm to Producer, including all investors in the Picture, and others involved the production of the Picture, naturally and directly resulting from Defendants’ unyielding refusal to render Artists’ remaining actor services,” adds the filing.
During last year’s AFM, Deadline noted that while Intandem was no longer involved, Lazar and Junger still were and Polaris Pictures’ Jeremy Wall and Anne Brensley from Legacy Point Capital would be financing the completion costs of the film. Filming was set to start again on December 11. Obviously, it did not.
10 Things Films LLC is represented by Michael Trauben of Singh, Singh & Trauben, LLP in Beverly Hills.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.