August 23, 2012 - 14:01 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Martin Scorsese has been sued by the production company behind a film project that the Oscar-winning director allegedly promised to make more than two decades ago, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Aug 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by THR, Cecchi Gori Pictures, the production company headed by Vittorio Cecchi Gori, claims it entered into several agreements with Scorsese and his Sikelia Productions for him to direct Silence, based on a Japanese novel by Shusaku Endo about missionaries who are sent to Japan in 1683 to investigate reports of Christians being tortured by the country's emperor.
Cecchi Gori claims it invested $750,000 to develop the property and that Scorsese agreed way back in 1990 to direct it after Kundun (1997). In 2004 and 2011, Scorsese and his company allegedly signed deals to postpone Silence so he could direct The Departed, Shutter Island and Hugo. As part of those deals, Scorsese is said to have agreed to pay "substantial compensation and other valuable benefits, for the right to direct these three other films prior to Silence," according to the complaint. Those fees are said to be $1 million - $1.5 million per film plus up to 20 percent of Scorsese's backend compensation.
The suit claims Scorsese never paid his agreed-on delay fee for Hugo and now has decided to direct Wolf of Wall Street for Paramount (with Leonardo DiCaprio and an all-star cast) instead of Silence. "The Checchi Gori Parties cannot allow their rights to be ignored or compromised by further delay on the part of Scorsese and Sikelia," the complaint alleges.