Producers of “The Wolf of Wall Street” spent Friday morning swapping lawsuits over the movie.
Alexandra Milchan filed a complaint accusing production and financing shingle Red Granite of trying to cheat her out of fees and credits associated with the Martin Scorsese drama. Red Granite fired back with a counterclaim asserting that it has “no obligation of any kind” to Milchan and claiming that no written contract exists between them.
Milchan’s complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, paints a picture of behind-the-scenes drama on the movie about Wall Street corruption, which is expected to begin lensing this month.
“Emulating the fraud and corruption which permeates the film, defendant Red Granite, the company making the film now refuses to honor Milchan and Emjag’s rights as a producer after numerous attempts to ‘strong-arm’ them into accepting a lesser role failed,” according to the complaint, filed by Freedman and Taitelman.
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According to the suit, Milchan was entitled to receive a producer credit on the film, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees.
Red Granite disputes Milchan’s interpretation.
“Red Granite, independently of any efforts on the part of Milchan, has secured financing for the production of the picture, has secured the services of DiCaprio and several other top tier actors to star in the Picture, and with noted director Martin Scorsese to direct the picture,” states the suit, filed by law firm Loeb and Loeb on behalf of the company.
“Wolf” is based on Jordan Belfort’s book about a stockbroker who refuses to cooperate in a giant fraud case in the corporate banking world. Leonardo DiCaprio will star.
Red Granite claims that it secured the right to come on board the picture through negotiations with Warner Bros., which had optioned the book upon which the film is based in 2007.
Red Granite, headed by CEO Riza Aziz and vice chairman Joey McFarland, is financing “Wolf.” Company came on board the project last year and was to produce with DiCaprio’s Appian Way banner and Milchan’s Emjag banner, according to recent reports.
“Wolf” marks the banner’s most high-profile project to date. The shingle, launched in September 2010, is currently handling international sales for Relativity’s “Out of the Furnace” and debuted with “Friends with Kids,” a $10 million ensemble that unspooled last year.