The director of “London Fields,” scheduled to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival on Friday, filed a lawsuit against its producers, claiming that they engaged in “fraudulent efforts” to revise the movie without his knowledge.
Mathew Cullen’s lawsuit was filed late Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court against producers Chris Hanley and Jorden Gertner, as well as Muse Productions and Nicola Six Ltd. In addition to damages, it seeks a declaration that the producers have no right to use his name to promote the movie without his consent.
The movie, based on a Martin Amis novel, stars Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton and Jason Isaacs.
According to the lawsuit, the producers interjected elements into the movie that “include incendiary imagery evoking 9/11 jumpers edited against pornography, as well as juxtaposing the holiest city in Islam against mind control. No crew or cast member signed up for this, nor did plaintiffs.” The lawsuit contends that none of the “revisionary elements” appear in the script.
The lawsuit claims that producers breached their agreement by refusing to pay him full compensation, refusing to provide three cuts and three public screenings of the movie, and refusing to produce the movie as a DGA film. It also cites “failure to provide funding needed to properly produce the film.” Cullen claims that Hanley gave him assurances that he “would have freedom to make the film without interference from them.”
The production was budgeted at about $8 million, according to the lawsuit.
The producers of the movie did not immediately return a call for comment left at their offices in Los Angeles. News of the dispute was first reported in the New York Times.
The lawsuit was filed by Alex Weingarten of Venable LLP.