Civilizations Prods. fired back at Trimark Pictures Tuesday, filing a counterclaim to the latter’s $ 1 million suit that cried foul over a discarded oral agreement.

Trimark filed a $ 1 million suit last week claiming that Civilizations, the Motion Picture Corp. of America and Turner Pictures conspired to leave them out of an agreed-upon verbal distrib deal for “The Desperate Trail” (Daily Variety, Nov. 30).

Headed for homevid

The pic, starring Sam Elliott and Craig Sheffer, cost roughly $ 2 million to produce and is likely headed for homevid and cable.

Civilizations said in its countersuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court that Trimark attempted to “bully” the small indie into accepting inequitable terms.

Unresolved items

The company claimed negotiations were never concluded with Trimark and that unresolved items included budget and producers’ fees and completion bond issues.

“Trimark’s suit is totally without merit,” said a statement from Civilizations. “(We) broke off negotiations for the financing of ‘The Desperate Trail’ with Trimark when Trimark tried to squeeze concessions on the eve of production.”

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