While most thesps have on occasion had reason to complain about being left on the cutting room floor, Sylvester Stallone has the opposite problem: He’s irked about being featured too prominently in an upcoming pic, and has filed a suit to stop its distribution.
Stallone has filed a $20 million lawsuit against the producers of a film called “The Good Life,” and is seeking to stop release of the pic and its promotional material because the producers are misrepresenting it as a Stallone film.
When is a Stallone film not a Stallone film? When the contract says it isn’t, apparently.
According to a complaint filed Thursday in L.A. Superior Court, DEM Prods. Inc. and producers Alan and Diane Mehrez breached an agreement with Stallone by “peppering the picture with scattered footage of Stallone” rather than using a six- to eight-minute monologue he did in one spot.
Stallone claimed he did the monologue as a cameo for minimal compensation in exchange for DEM’s agreement to limit the use of his name and likeness in screen credits and publicity.
The contract said Stallone could only appear in trailers in an amount comparable to the percentage of the film he appeared in. He also was not to be given audio credit.
Instead, the lawsuit said, Stallone appears in almost one-third of one promotional reel, and he is given more prominent credit than other cast members, which is a violation of his contract.
The $20 million figure didn’t come out of a hat — it’s Stallone’s standard starring fee. “Had defendants requested the unfettered right to use Stallone’s name, photograph and likeness in all advertising, artwork and promotion for the motion picture,” the complaint said, “he would have requested compensation of no less than a $20 million fee.”
Thus, the lawsuit seeks $20 million in compensatory and unspecified punitive damages, along with an injunction against distribution of the film and promotional material.