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|Qin Shang||Posted on Jan 3 2007, 03:53 AM|
| What can we do about this? I am writing a letter to that Philip jerky asking him to back off Clive. Not that it would do any good, all I can do is try.
If this Philip Anshutz fellow is a Christian as he claims, then he is a piss poor example of one.
|Ruffino||Posted on Dec 30 2006, 05:25 PM|
I can't believe how biased the media is. The pic the opening statements among other things is just INFURIATING!
I hope he takes billions from that character and Clive can start his own production company.
I emailed this clown and reminded him that HE needs to do research and maintain an unbiased position. What a CLOWN!
|oswalder||Posted on Dec 30 2006, 02:39 AM|
In fact, the other article Tony posted indicates that Clive has sold over 125 MILLION books. Clive was not lying to Anschutz. It would appear that Anschutz was assuming Clive meant over 100 million books sold in the United States (where his movie-going public would be located). Clive's books are sold worldwide in over 40 languages, perhaps Anschutz should have marketed the movie better outside the U.S.
My paperback copy of Sahara, published in 1992, clearly states on the front cover: "Over 50,000,000 Clive Cussler Novels in Print!" and "The Spectacular 14-Week New York Times Bestseller by the Author of Dragon and Treasure."
I guess a book has to be on the NYT list for 15 weeks before it can be considered popular. Clearly Anschutz thought Clive was saying that he had sold 100 million copies of SAHARA, which would indeed have been an overstatement. What a buffoon.
|Sandecker Fan||Posted on Dec 30 2006, 02:16 AM|
| Cussler’s adventure series fits the bill. The books include neither profanity nor sexual content, and Anschutz is a fan who thought the novels could become a celluloid franchise like the Indiana Jones and James Bond movies.
Why would someone who proclaims to be a fan not be able to realize that Sahara the movie and Sahara the novel are different in several details. I just don't get it I really don't get how Anschutz can feel he didn't violate the terms of the contract. That to me is the whole point of the lawsuit. Clive asked for and was given certain concessions and Anschutz and company didn't live up to them...To me that is breach of contract.
|Maeve||Posted on Dec 30 2006, 01:45 AM|
| Yup, that "boasted" word was starting to irk me too.
I also found it interesting that they claimed that Cussler lied to them about how many million copies of his books were sold....
" And he reminded me that he had over 100 million copies of his book sold. I believe that was the number he said. That he had — that he was adored by his fans and readers, and that he was willing to go out and promote these movies that were made.”
In fact, Cussler’s books had sold only about one-quarter of the copies the author claimed, according to Anschutz’s suit. Had Crusader known that sales were less than the novelist claimed, the company wouldn’t have taken on the project, the suit says. "
If the number of copies sold was going to be the hinge on whether the deal was signed then you'd a thought they'd have done their homework a bit better!
|Empress||Posted on Dec 29 2006, 03:31 PM|
|I see whose (right word context?) side the article is weighing the heaviest on. If I had to read the word "boasted" one more time I was going to scream.|
|oswalder||Posted on Dec 29 2006, 02:33 PM|
| Must... calm... down...
Thank you, Tony, for posting the article. In the future, please find ones that don't make my blood boil.
|DirkPitt||Posted on Dec 29 2006, 09:16 AM|
| Cussler’s ‘Sahara’ now courtroom drama
By Tom McGhee THE DENVER POST
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Author Clive Cussler convinced Denver media mogul Philip Anschutz that the right to make movie versions of his Dirk Pitt adventure novels was worth $10 million a book by promising to promote the films, according to court documents.
The result of the deal they cut was a movie version of Cussler’s novel “Sahara,” a box-office flop in 2005 that led to a lawsuit by Cussler and a countersuit from Anschutz and his production company.
Next month, the two men are scheduled to battle it out over the movie in a Los Angeles courtroom.
Cussler’s high-profile entertainment lawyer, Betram Fields, said Friday that there is no way his client will settle.
“You have got two guys who are enraged at what happened from different points of view, and they’re going to go at it,” Fields said.
Cussler maintains that Anschutz’s film company, Crusader Entertainment, butchered his work and reneged on its agreement granting him the right to approve the script. In fact, the company filmed a script that Cussler disapproved of, Fields said.
“They tore the heart out of the story. He’s been badly hurt. The value of his film rights has gone from what Anschutz paid to zero today,” Fields said.
Anschutz says in his countersuit that Cussler wanted to write the screenplay but didn’t have screenwriting experience.
Alan Rader, a lawyer handling the case for Anschutz, said Cussler misled Anschutz and his company and caused the movie to bomb.
“Cussler saw to it that it could not succeed. He promised he would help us make this movie a success, and he reneged on the deal. It is not right to take $10 million and turn around and torpedo the movie,” said Rader, a partner in O’Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles.
Cussler is accustomed to having full control over his work. In a deposition, he boasted that he followed the advice of editors who suggested changes to his books only 20 percent of the time.
The movie cost $130 million to make and lost more than $65 million, according to Anschutz’s suit. “Sahara” opened last year and earned $69 million in total U.S. box-office receipts.
The novelist mounted a public-relations campaign that killed the film’s chances for success by publicly calling a string of scriptwriters “clowns” and “hacks,” bad-mouthing their efforts and suggesting that his fans would be disappointed by the movie, according to the suit.
“Sahara,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz, was Cussler’s second misadventure in Tinseltown.
His “Raise the Titanic!” was in 1980 made into a film starring Jason Robards. The movie lost so much money that producer Lew Grade joked, “It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Cussler, who lived for years in Colorado before moving to Arizona, blamed Hollywood for destroying his book and vowed never to let it happen again, the Times said.
But Cussler felt that he wasn’t receiving the kind of respect given to Tom Clancy, author of “The Hunt for Red October” and other books that have provided successful movie fodder, according to Carole Bartholomeaux, Cussler’s former publicist.
“Mr. Cussler complained to me that he was ‘like Rodney Dangerfield’ and that Tom Clancy got more respect than he did, even though he made as much or more per book as Clancy,” Bartholomeaux said in a court document.
Anschutz, a conservative Christian who founded Denver-based Qwest, formed his film group to make wholesome, family entertainment.
Cussler’s adventure series fits the bill. The books include neither profanity nor sexual content, and Anschutz is a fan who thought the novels could become a celluloid franchise like the Indiana Jones and James Bond movies.
A June 2000 conversation between Anschutz and Cussler, outlined in Anschutz’s deposition, provides a window into the billionaire’s thinking during negotiations over the movie rights:
“I had said to Mr. Cussler, ‘The price you are asking for each of these books seems rather high. In fact, quite a bit higher than the going market price.’ Cussler replied, ‘No, that may be the case, but it is well worth it to you.’ And I said, ‘Well, why is that?’ And he reminded me that he had over 100 million copies of his book sold. I believe that was the number he said. That he had — that he was adored by his fans and readers, and that he was willing to go out and promote these movies that were made.”
In fact, Cussler’s books had sold only about one-quarter of the copies the author claimed, according to Anschutz’s suit. Had Crusader known that sales were less than the novelist claimed, the company wouldn’t have taken on the project, the suit says.
A year of negotiations between an attorney for Anschutz and Cussler’s agent led to a detailed contract. The May 9, 2001, agreement gave the author the right to approve the cast and even required that the actor playing Pitt have black hair and green eyes. Cussler boasted he had rejected Tom Cruise for being too short, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Also in the contract: a requirement that he approve the screenplay and that no material changes be made to the approved script without his agreement, according to Cussler’s suit.
What followed, according to court documents, was a contentious relationship marked by disagreement over the quality of scripts and their writers, and leaks of the contract’s confidential financial terms.
Anschutz’s company, now called Bristol Bay Productions, spent $4 million on screenwriters, most of whom produced scripts that Cussler hated. In December 2003, for instance, Cussler told The Denver Post that scripts for “Sahara” “don’t follow the book. They’ve sent me seven scripts, and I have inserted each in the trash can.”
In 2004, according to Anschutz’s countersuit, Cussler told London’s Daily Telegraph that “Sahara,” like “Raise the Titanic!” would be a disaster. Cussler told celebrity gossip columnist Liz Smith that he would earn $10 million a movie, information that the contract called for keeping confidential, according to the countersuit. Smith included the detail in a column.
The writer called Bartholomeaux, Cussler’s former publicist, furious that Smith had revealed his price, which he hadn’t expected her to publish, Bartholomeaux said in the court document.
“I reminded Mr. Cussler that he told me he wanted the public to know how his rates were, compared to other top authors. Nevertheless, he asked me to call Ms. Smith and chastise her over the article.”
Anschutz wants the court to award his company no less than $65 million in damages. Cussler claims he is owed damages in excess of $10 million.
In spite of their differences, both Anschutz and Cussler share one desire: Both have asked the court to declare their agreement has run its course and the production company has no right, or obligation, to make any more of Cussler’s books into movies.
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