BERLIN — The first head has rolled at Internationalmedia following the abrupt cancellation of Jan de Bont’s “Stopping Power.”
The company on Monday announced that Martin Schuermann, its former topper and current chairman of U.S. subsidiary Intermedia Film Equities USA, had been sacked effective immediately as a result of his alleged mishandling of the financing for “Stopping Power.”
The actioner, starring John Cusack, was set to start shooting in Berlin in coming days but was forced to stop production last week after one of its main financial backers pulled out. A separate production subsidiary set up for the film, IM Stopping Power GmbH, filed for insolvency as a result.
Internationalmedia blames Schuermann for the fiasco and said it was looking into possible legal action against the former exec.
Schuermann replaced Internationalmedia’s former CEO Moritz Borman in 2005 and served as company topper until July of this year. He remained in charge of worldwide operations and head of Intermedia Film Equities USA.
Schuermann shifted Internationalmedia’s focus away from pricey productions such as “Alexander” and “Basic Instinct 2: Risk Addiction” toward lower-budgeted projects and television production. To that end it had partnered on TV fare with local production company Action Concept, which had also been attached to “Stopping Power.”
Recent International titles include “Breach,” “The Hunting Party,” the upcoming “Once Missed Call” and the TV series “Mindhunters.”
The fate of “Stopping Power” and IM in general remains unclear, although Internationalmedia said it was in talks with potential investors to refinance the film. Company said it was examining what financial consequences the film’s cancellation would have on other company subsidiaries.