Producer Charles Evans Jr. and his Acappella Pictures have sued New Line Cinema, Artists Management Group and director Michael Mann, claiming they ousted him from his own project, a motion picture based on the life of Howard Hughes.
According to the complaint, filed Wednesday in L.A. Superior Court, Evans had been developing a film project based on the life of Hughes since 1993. In 1997, Evans began discussions with Kevin Spacey about serving as a director. Spacey also agreed to assist Evans in finding financing.
Shortly thereafter, Evans and Spacey met with New Regency, which agreed to assist in the development of the project. Spacey agreed to direct and Jack Fincher was hired to draft a screenplay.
In 1998, Evans attempted to convince Leonardo DiCaprio to play the part of Hughes, according to the lawsuit. Following discussions with DiCaprio and AMG’s Rick Yorn, who represents the thesp, Evans was informed that DiCaprio would never make the project with a director he hadn’t selected.
Evans finally decided to terminate Spacey, and Yorn advised him DiCaprio was in. Yorn then told Evans DiCaprio wanted Michael Mann as the director and further discussions ensued. John Logan was hired by Mann to do a screenplay.
After many months of believing Mann and DiCaprio were planning to do the Hughes film at New Regency with him, Evans learned last March that Mann had made a deal with New Line to do a Hughes project.
The complaint alleges fraud, breach of implied contract and intentional interference with economic advantage.
New Line declined to comment and AMG could not be reached for comment.