Deal or no deal? Reps for Randy Quaid on Tuesday said the actor has dropped his lawsuit against Focus Features because the company agreed to pay him a bonus.
But Focus says it “never negotiated, offered or agreed to any settlement agreement.”
Less than six weeks ago, the actor filed suit in L.A. Superior Court, alleging that the specialty arm duped him into deferring payment for “Brokeback Mountain” by touting it as an indie, arthouse pic.
The suit contended that Focus knew from the get-go that the pic would do strong box office.
Quaid’s reps on Tuesday said he decided to drop the suit after Focus agreed to pay him a bonus that he wants split among the cast. The reps stressed that it was an unofficial, backdoor agreement between lawyers for the two sides, though they did not disclose dollar figures. His attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
But Focus, in a statement, said: “Randy Quaid is a wonderful actor who delivered a beautiful performance in ‘Brokeback Mountain.’ The circumstances of him dropping the suit are as mysterious as the circumstances under which he filed his claim. Focus Features never negotiated, offered or agreed to any settlement agreement with Mr. Quaid or his attorneys, but we are happy to put this behind us, and do wish Mr. Quaid all the best.”
“Brokeback,” which toplined Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, has grossed nearly $160 million worldwide. It’s not known what extra pay, if any, various cast members received.
From their inception, studio specialty arms have maintained they are like other indie production houses in not being able to offer actors normal rates. Actors often are willing to work for well below their quote in exchange for being able to work with a particular filmmaker.
But there is nothing stopping an actor from insisting on an elevator clause should the pic successfully platform.
Quaid had asked for $10 million in damages in his suit.