Mel Gibson is reportedly suing Voltage Pictures for breach of contract and promissory fraud over their co-production “The Professor and the Madman”.
The complaint was filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Gibson and his producing partner Bruce Davey from Icon Productions spent nearly two decades developing the film based on Simon Winchester’s book about the origins of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Gibson was set to star alongside Sean Penn with Farhad Safinia penning and directing. Icon entered into a co-production deal with Voltage in 2015 to create the film which was slated for release this year.
Gibson claims Voltage failed to provide a budget, secure a completion bond, shoot “critical” scenes in Oxford, execute Safinia’s directing deal and pay Icon its producing fee along with multiple other complaints including the screening of an unapproved cut of the film at Cannes.
The suit seeks not only damages but the right to terminate the co-production deal and regain its rights to the film.
Voltage Pictures has a history of filing lawsuits with severe monetary penalties against individuals it accuses of illegally sharing its films online. They made headlines with a court case in Australia involving the country’s largest ISPs. The judge eventually dismissed the case.
Source: THR Esq.