Robert Rodriguez Sues Over Unpaid $7.7 Million for ‘Sin City 2,’ ‘Machete Kills’

Robert Rodriguez Sues Over Unpaid $7.7
Andrew Walker/Getty Images

Filmmaker Robert Rodriguez has sued the financers of “Sin City 2” and “Machete Kills,” alleging non-payment of $7.7 million.

The suit was filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Rodriguez and his affiliate companies against Sergei Bespalov, Marina Bespalov, Maddartico, Vrelonovama, Aldamisa Entertainment and SC2 Productions.

It alleged breach of contract and fraud. The suit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

“In order to induce Plaintiffs to enter into agreements with various of the Defendants relating to the Pictures, Defendants, including, specifically, Sergei Bespalov, falsely assured and represented to Plaintiffs that Defendants had more than sufficient financial resources and cash flow – not only from and related to the Pictures, but also from other projects – to honor all of their financial obligations to Plaintiffs.”

The suit alleged that when the money was not paid as promised, Rodriguez paid from his own funds to “Machete Kills” screenwriter Kyle Ward.

Plaintiffs include Fifth Brain Inc., El Chingon Inc., El Chingon Productions, El Chingon Investments and Quickdraw Holdings.

Rodriguez was a director and producer on both films, which underperformed at the box office.

“Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For” had a budget estimated at $65 million and starred Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and Jessica Alba. It was released in August in the U.S. by the Weinstein Co. and grossed $13 million; worldwide grosses hit $38 million.

“Machete Kills,” starred Danny Trejo, Amber Heard, Mel Gibson, Sofia Vergara and Antonio Banderas. It was released last year, carried a reported of $20 million and grossed about $15 million worldwide.

UPDATE, 9:10 a.m., Oct 21, 2014 — Aldamisa has issued a response:

Steven Marenberg of the law firm Irell & Manella LLP, has described the lawsuit as being “without merit, and apparently filed to distract from Rodriguez’s own breaches of contract and malfeasance” in connection with the films “Machete Kills” and “Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For.”

Marenberg continued, “The financiers of these films fulfilled all of their obligations and provided tens of millions of dollars in funding for the two projects.”

Sergei Bespalov, Co-Chairman of Aldamisa Entertainment, added, “We are proud of our track record of developing, producing and supporting many great films, including our most recent, the critically and popularly acclaimed movie ‘Chef.’

“Mr. Rodriguez’s complaint is full of misstatements and omissions, and we will vigorously litigate these meritless claims.  We are confident that a court of law will agree that it was Mr. Rodriguez who breached the contracts and acted improperly.”



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  1. Gary says:

    It’s ok. They can pay it out of all the profit the movie made…… Oh……. Ohhhhh……… Ahhhh……… Ummmmm……… Eerrrrr……… Eeeeeehhhhhhh

  2. KIRAÇ says:

    endamın yeter

  3. Mike White says:

    Can I sue to get my money back from watching these pieces of trash?

  4. Lars Carson says:

    This has very little to do with box office returns; I worked for Aldamisa in 2012 and can attest for the fact that it’s a shady company – lots of illegal and irresponsible activity. Last I heard, they burnt their bridges so badly they couldn’t even get agencies to send them scripts anymore.

  5. Ralph Hartman says:

    Besides Death Proof which Quentin admits is his worst film what garbage has he made? Jackie Brown, Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds are all excellent films. Name a movie that he’s made besides Death Proof that’s bad.

    • The other guy says:

      I don’t have to, you just named all of them. Brown, Bill, Inglorious all terrible films.
      Thats the first time I have seen anyone call Brown excellent by the way.
      As has been proven by your reply and a few more on this board defending Machete and Sin City 2, it’s all just a matter of taste.

  6. The other guy says:

    I find it amazing that Rodrigeuz makes a couple of turkeys and it seems that the world turns against him. Tarrentino made nothing but indulgent garbage between Pulp and Django but people were still ready to fall to their knees and blow if he asked them. And yet Planet Terror was, by far, the stronger of the Grindhouse double bill. Death Proof was 50% great movie then 50% utter crap.

    In fact you will have to look real hard to find a director that hasn’t made a few stinkers in their career. Spielberg, Scorsese you name ’em and they will have tasted box office disaster at some point. More than once.

    If he’s owed money then he should be paid. No matter how bad the films performed.

    • Ralph says:

      You have no idea what you’re talking about when saying Tarantino made garbage between Pulp and Django. Jackie Brown and the Kill Bill movies were excellent!

      • The other guy says:

        I know exactly what I am saying. Brown was lame. Bill was over indulgent pap and Inglorious was a bunch of disjointed scenes tied loosely together with a flimsy plot lifted directly from To Be Or Not To Be.
        All three films were dreadful.

      • cigar, moist towelette? says:

        Ralph, Tarantino makes garbage as does his Puerto Rican pal Rodrigues – and now the Russians want nothing to do with him. Now they’re suing each other over crap and losses. Perfect.

  7. David S says:

    You know… people should really learn to calm down. Mr. Rodriguez’s career may have had a few failures, but he has also had his fair shares of successes as well.
    His small, breakout independent film, “El Mariachi”, had a budget of a few thousand dollars, but got a return of a few million dollars. When it was remade as “Desperado” with Antoniio Banderas, its 7 million dollar budget grossed $25 million at the box office. His vampire movie “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn” was made for 17 million, but returned over $50 million.
    The original “Machete”? It was an original spoof that poked all kinds of fun at a certain kind of film, while also seeming to comment on Caucasian/Hispanic relations in America, as well as the everlasting question of immigration. Similarly, the original “Sin City” movie had a unique visual style, as well as being a somewhat original spoof of classic “film noir” movies.
    Unfortunately, the originality that made the original films such a success would have counted against the sequels for the simple reason that they were not original. One of the sequels came years after the original; three of the secondary characters had to be recast, two of them because the original actors were, well, dead.
    What it comes down to is that Robert Rodriguez has a decent record as a director, with an average number of them producing profits. To claim that his entire career as a director is a failure is to be delusional.

    • harry georgatos says:

      The profits from these movies you quote is pocket change for the industry and mean very little. Rodriguez downward spiral began with the failure of GRINDHOUSE. The one great film Rodriguez made was the first SIN CITY. As for his other films, apart from his SPY KIS movies have bombed or just made a puny profit if one takes in consideration marketing costs. I’ve always thought Rodriguez has exceptional technical skills applied to trash genres. Maybe one day Rodriguez can move into mainstream studio blockbusters where he has the ability to make great studio pictures then concentrating in the gutter genre that he unfortunately lives in.

  8. Kenmandu says:

    Robert should pay them as the most over-rated self promoter in the biz.

  9. Alex says:

    So the only way Bob can make any money off his flicks is to sue? I thought “Sin City 2” would do good box office…but it tanked, deal with it Bob. Can I call ya Bob?

  10. harry georgatos says:

    Rodriguez movies pander to the worse aspect of human behaviour and cliches of his ancestral country in Mexico with torture porn from cartels and the dispensing of over the top blood spraying violence that ths tourism board of Mexico would be horrified. He shows Mexico in such a R-rated comic book light that panders to ones worse instincts. He has nothing worth while and positive to say in cinema.. His cinema,belongs in the world of underground snuff videos. Apart from the Spy Kids films 80% of his films have bombed!! Rodriguez has nothing positive to say about the human condition and spends his time with bodily decapitations, gunfire, gangsters and murder. Congratulations,for a life lived well.

  11. Harold von Kursk says:

    No one forced the financiers to hire Rodriguez to direct these films. Sin City 2 could just as easily have been a box-office hit which is the kind of gamble studios and producers have been taking since the beginning of the film industry. But Robert Rodriguez certainly deserves to be paid whatever monies were promised according to contracts he signed with the producers of both those films. Of course, what is strange is that normally directors receive their total salary by the first day of principal photography. The funds Rodriguez is claimed must relate to other fees such as F/X services or related work.

  12. Has the man no shame? He wants to get paid almost 8 million for making two massive bombs to add to his already abysmal box office? Why do studio executives even green-light a Rodriguez production when they know his deplorable track record? Rodriguez would have some much needed goodwill in Hollywood if he had the decency to take a lower amount than what he had initially asked for here, since the studio is clearly going to lose tens of millions of dollars on these pieces of cinematic poop.

    I remember reading on the TCM website some time ago that Orson Welles offered to make a movie for RKO for free because he went over budget on Citizen Kane. If he wants to keep working, Rodriguez might want to do the same as a sign of good faith before Hollywood wakes up and realizes that his movies are box office poison on a biblical scale. But he won’t, because Rodriguez isn’t in the same league as Welles, either as a person or a talent.

  13. harry georgatos says:

    Maybe if these two stinkers made a profit Rodriguez would have got his cut with these two box office turkeys. If this means Machete 3 doesn’t get made then that is a positive step!

  14. Leigh says:

    The hack makes two horrid bombs and then sues to get paid for them. Wow.

    • I understand–so we dont honor contracts?

      • excellent points-thought that is what he is doing. Of course I dont know much about the details so its hard to take my response any further. Ty for your very thoughtful input.

      • jhs39 says:

        Rodriguez isn’t owed the money just because he says he is. That’s for a trial to decide. As a producer of both films whose own company also did the special effects for both films his situation is very different than a normal filmmaker who gets paid by producers.

  15. well everyone should be paid.I like Robert

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