Director James Cameron has exited the 20th Century Fox project “The Crowded Room,” and he and producer Sandra A.M. Arcara have settled out of court with screenplay consultant William S. Milligan, sources said.
Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment office and Lightstorm chief operating officer Matt Saver could not be reached for comment.
Milligan filed a $ 9 million suit Wednesday in California Superior Court against Cameron, Arcara, Lightstorm Entertainment and Gothic Prods., alleging breach of contract and claiming the defendants deliberately postponed the pic (Daily Variety, Aug. 2).
The suit further alleged that Cameron had brought Milligan — who is the subject of a book called “The Minds of Billy Milligan”– from Ohio to Los Angeles in 1989, promising to make a film version of the book as soon as possible. The book details how Milligan developed multiple personalities as a result of continual abuse from his father.
Meanwhile, Cameron helmed “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and the upcoming “True Lies,” effectively putting “Room” in the production basement.
Arcara settled the suit late Thursday for an undisclosed amount on behalf of all the defendants, according to her New York-based attorney Justin Manus. “We’ll go on with ‘Crowded Room’ with Sandra producing the film for (her production company) Sama Prods.,” said Manus, who didn’t say when active production was expected to resume.
Manus wasn’t able to confirm that Cameron had indeed exited, but said Milligan would continue his consulting role, despite having sued his employer. According to Manus, Arcara denies the suit’s allegations that she had upped her “Room” production fee from $ 250,000 to $ 1.5 million.
Sources close to the project said Milligan was “really furious with Cameron for deferring production,” but never had a beef with Arcara.