The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, also claims that Malick used its investment to help produce other movies. In addition to its investment, Seven Seas Limited Partnership seeks access to Sycamore’s financial and production records, film footage, and other intellectual property from the project.
The project in question, the suit states, is called “Voyage of Time,” and included two 45-minute IMAX films and a feature length movie.
“Sycamore has blown through nearly $6 million over the last six years on this project with nothing to show for it,” Dan K. Webb, an attorney at Winston & Strawn, representing Seven Seas, said in a statement. An additional $2.5 million came from another, unnamed investor.
“Voyage of Time” was described as a documentary about the creation of the universe and of evolution.
The suit states that one segment, depicting early man, was to be shot on the Solomon Islands, just east of Papua New Guinea.
The project’s budget was about $12 million, the suit states, and it was to be finished on May 1 of this year. Seven Seas terminated the contract on Feb. 15 when “it became clear that little progress had been made on the films, deadlines had been missed, and Sycamore’s accounting appeared to be in disarray.”
“As events developed, it is now clear that Malick and Sycamore consistently misrepresented that the editing of the Voyage of Time films was moving forward diligently and to great effect,” according to Seven Seas.
According to the suit, Sycamore executives admitted to Seven Seas that its books were “just a total mess,” with “paper all over the place.” It claims that Malick shared resources with projects across his company.
Malick’s Sycamore Pictures is set up as an LLC, according to the suit. It is not to be confused with Sycamore Pictures, producer of “The Way, Way Back.”
Sycamore Pictures could not immediately be reached.