Talent agency Endeavor has blackballed film financier Intermedia until client Diane Lane is paid nearly $2.7 million allegedly owed to her under a pay or play deal.
Move comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed by Lane against Intermedia in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, claiming breach of contract, misrepresentation and fraud.
Although Intermedia is now in preproduction on Oliver Stone’s epic drama, “Alexander,” Lane’s lawsuit claims that the production and financing company was unable to come up with the funding for the much more modestly budgeted “Me Again.”
Lane was to receive $3.5 million and star opposite Bruce Willis in the thriller “Me Again.”
The project was to begin production in May and wrap by August. Willis dropped out of the project last spring and has not been replaced. (Daily Variety, April 16)
However, according to Lane’s suit, Intermedia did not have financing for “Me Again” when the company made its deal with Lane and never found the funding for the film.
According to documentation provided in Lane’s lawsuit, Intermedia later tried to flip the project to Franchise. (German-owned Intermedia is involved with Franchise backer Ron Tudor on another project, “Laws of Attraction.” )
In a letter dated June 24 and addressed to Intermedia vice chairman Jon Gumpert, Endeavor accused Intermedia of using “lies and misrepresentation” in an attempt to justify nonpayment of Lane’s pay-or-play deal.
“In April of this year, you (Intermedia) made a $3.5 million pay or play deal with Diane Lane to star in “Me Again,” the letter states. “Subsequently, Diane passed on several multimillion dollar offers to star in other films at the same time.”
Endeavor acknowledged that Intermedia had made the first two payments of $277,778 each.
“However,” the letter concludes, “until we receive the remaining money owed to her, the Endeavor Agency will cease doing business with Intermedia, Franchise Pictures and those individuals who are responsible for these actions in perpetuity.”
The letter was signed by all 14 Endeavor partners, with copies also sent to Intermedia chairman Moritz Borman and production president Basil Iwanyk, as well as Franchise chairman/CEO Elie Samaha and president of development Tracee Stanley.
An Intermedia spokesperson said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
Although Endeavor’s letter also named Franchise in the ban, a Franchise rep said its involvement was based on a misunderstanding that’s since been cleared and that Franchise continues to do business with Endeavor.