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Gerard Butler’s Motor City Lawsuit

Mr. Butler is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and by attaching his name to a motion picture automatically makes the movie a top seller.

The plaintiff ( Mr. Butler ) is suing the producers of Motor City four $5.1 million .

The defendant’s (Emmitt/Furla) hired Mr. Butler’s services as the lead actor in the movie Motor City. Mr. Butler would be paid by a pay or play bases. Emmitt/Furla used Mr. Butler’s name to attach to the movie to pre-sell distribution rights and raise financing.

After months of negotiation they reached an agreement, including a guaranteed $4 million on pay or play bases for compensation, of $2 million in order to lock Mr. Butler to Motor City.

Mr. Butler’s agents were now able to turn down other offers with the understanding that Mr. Butler was going to have the starring role in Motor City, and that they would no longer seek other employment on Mr. Butler’s behalf during that period of time.

On August 31 , 2012 the producers informed Mr. Butler’s agent that the picture had stalled when they discovered they were running out of time.  After the first of the year in 2013 rumors had it they were going to start production again on Motor City , but this time Mr. Butler’s name would not be attached to the film. They also spoke of the terms of the agreement in the contract they would not pay Mr. Butler the pay or play that was agreed upon .

The plaintiffs are Mr. Butler and Comrie Inc. Agency (Mr. Butler uses them to find acting work for him).

The defendants are Emmitt/Furla productions.

Around the end of March of 2012 representatives of Silver Film Incorporate contacted Mr. Butler’s talent agency ( Creative Artists Agency or AKA ( CAA) and offered Mr. Butler the leading role in the movie Motor City.

This is what Silver Production offered Mr. Butler.

1)   $5 million guaranteed fixed compensation whether he makes the movie or not

2)  $1 million in deferred compensation

3)  Contingent compensation of 2.5% of 100% gross receipts

4)   To have his name appear in the credits first position before all

Around May 15, 2012 a representative of Silver Pictures increased Mr. Butler’s salary to $6 million guaranteed fixed compensation whether he made the movie or not.

Contingent compensation of the greater of $4.5 million acceptable against 6% domestic receipts and 20% royalty from home videos (confused yet… we are) or 6% eight financial net profit,  and that Emmitt/Furla productions would be responsible for financial obligations .

Between May and July they had many meetings to discuss negotiations. The producers said, that motor city would start September 17 , 2012, and that Mr. Butler would  have to  be able to start at that time.  They also informed Mr. Butler that he would have to be finished with “Olympus Has Fallen” by then . They were on a time deadline and had to deliver to Warner Brothers and there was very little room for flexibility with the start date.

Emmitt/Furla also requested that Mr. Butler obtain a stop date for Olympus has fallen, and that he had to be finished by September 14 in order to start Motor City by September 17.

August of 2012, everybody had agreed and things were ready to go. The producers discovered that due to a low budget they were not going to be able to make their deadline with Warner Brothers, and thus they were not going to be able to pay Mr. Butler the fixed compensation of $4 million that was agreed upon.

In agreement not only did Mr. Butler’s agents not seek any offers for his acting services, but Mr. Butler sought to obtain a firm stop date on September 14 of 2012 for his active services on “Olympus Has Fallen”. In order to obtain that stop date, Mr. Butler was required to assume liability for all costs of expediting the finish of Olympus Has Fallen. The costs included paying overtime to the cast and crew, additional guild benefits, payments to the writers and the expense of night shots. All this was done to assure the stop date so that he would be able to start filming Motor City. Mr. Butler ended up paying $1,100,000 on the production of Olympus Has Fallen.

In late August of 2012 they canceled the production of Motor City because they realized they had run out of time, and told Mr. Butler they were not going to pay him the pay or play that he was promised.  The cast and crew of Motor City were sent home.  After the first of the year in 2013,  rumor had it that Motor City was due to start production again, but this time Mr. Butler’s name was not going to be attached to the movie.

Mr. Butler is suing for breach of contract (can’t say we blame him there) breach of implied covenant of good faith.

Court papers were filed on February 4 of 2013, and Mr. Butler is also demanding a trial by jury.

So there you have it .

We can’t blame Mr. Butler for wanting what was owed to him.  All we want is the best for him… no wait… all we want is… to be on that jury!

By Phantom’s Kate

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