Suit seeks at least $10 million
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A screenwriter’s lawsuit seeking higher payments from Mel Gibson and others for “The Passion of the Christ” has just completed its first edit.The suit was originally filed in February. A judge ordered attorneys for screenwriter Benedict Fitzgerald to rewrite the complaint last month, saying it lacked specificity and seemed to take a “chain letter” approach. Fitzgerald’s lawyers filed their rewrite Monday against Gibson, Icon Productions, Marquis Films and others over payments for the screenplay. The suit seeks at least $10 million, claiming that Gibson and others vastly understated the budget for the 2004 blockbuster. Fitzgerald claims the result is that he was underpaid for his work on the film, which he says began in 2001. His suit also claims that Gibson told him the actor didn’t want to make any money off the film because he considered it “a personal gift to his faith.”Fitzgerald’s amended suit seeks portions of the proceeds from home video, cable and other distribution outlets.