Claims studio added costs to buy back rights

Author Michael Connelly has filed suit against Paramount Pictures, claiming that the studio has added excessive costs to the price it’s asking for him to buy back the film rights to two of his novels, “Black Ice” and “The Black Echo.”

The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, seeks an accounting of Paramount’s books and records to determine an “accurate price.”

Connelly provided Paramount with an exclusive option, which started in 1995, to adapt the two novels into a movie or other media, according to the suit. After 15 years, Connelly was given a one-year window in which he could buy back the the rights, subject to paying Paramount for “all out-of-pocket development costs, advances and payments” incurred by the studio, plus interest.

But Connelly says that when he sought to buy back the rights this year, the studio included overhead costs but no back up documentation to verify their figures. Moreover, he claims, the studio also included costs paid by Columbia and for a term deal of an independent producer at Columbia. The two studios had entered into a co-production arrangement to make the pictures.

Paramount had no immediate comment.

Connelly is represented in the suit by Allen Grodsky and Zachary Rothenberg of Grodsky & Olecki.

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