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|oswalder||Posted on May 16 2007, 05:31 PM|
| Finally, closure. Thanks for posting that, Michelle!
Honestly, I don't outrightly disagree with the ruling. I was never impressed with Clive's bashing of the film, especially before it was finished and before he ever saw it (if he even has). That was pretty unprofessional, and he would have been better suited to just say "no comment" when asked what he thought about the film. I think we all know that "no comment" means "It sucks but I'm not going to say that out loud."
I'm glad, though, that Anshutz doesn't get off scott free. If the juror's are making him pay for the second movie, though, do you think he's going to still make it? If he does, will Clive still have script approval?
|jet_doctor||Posted on May 16 2007, 03:44 AM|
| Just saw the following on my internet news: [I LOVE the last paragraph!]
Everyone's a Winner in Sahara Scrap
Tue May 15, 3:26 PM
Clive Cussler didn't strike gold in his lawsuit over the ill-fated big-screen adaptation of Sahara, but he didn't exactly come up with a plateful of sand, either.
After eight days of deliberation, a Los Angeles jury ordered the author to pay Crusader Entertainment $5 million in the production company's breach-of-contract lawsuit against Cussler, who Crusade claimed overstated his book sales to secure a huge payday for the movie rights to two of his adventure novels featuring the character Dirk Pitt.
The jurors ruled that Cussler breached "an implied covenant of good faith" by badmouthing the film before it hit theaters, which Crusader accused him of doing because the writer was peeved that he didn't get more of a say in the final screenplay.
But although the jury obviously believed that Cussler was in the wrong, the panel didn't exactly think that Crusader was in the right, either, ordering the Denver-based outfit to cut a check to Cussler for $8.5 million, saying the company owes him for a second book it bought the rights to that never made it to celluloid.
Cussler Sinking "Sahara"?
"Amityville" House Haunts Box Office
"Sahara" Too Hot for "Fever Pitch"
E! Online Cussler got the ball rolling on the dueling lawsuits in January 2004, suing Crusader (which is now known as Bristol Bay Productions) for $40 million in damages for supposedly making the film without consulting him.
Crusader countersued in April 2004, saying the author was trying to sabotage Sahara because his offer to pen the script himself was refused, and that Cussler did in fact approve an early version of the script, but then refused to cooperate with the rest of the creative process. Cussler, meanwhile, claimed that his contract gave him the final say on any screenplay based on his work.
In its complaint, Crusader estimated that Cussler's disparaging words could have wound up costing the production $40 million and endangering plans for a franchise—an optimistic guess, so it turned out, because the movie has reportedly lost about $105 million to date.
Sahara, directed by Breck Eisner and costarring then real-life couple Mathew McConaughey and Penélope Cruz, opened Apr. 8, 2005, and promptly fizzled, grossing only $68.7 million domestically.
Cussler and Crusader have been battling it out in court since January, culminating with the 75-year-old Cussler spending seven days on the stand and learning that he wasn't quite as successful as he thought.
An audit of 26,000 pages of royalty statements and sales reports conducted by Los Angeles litigation consultants Freeman & Mills Inc. revealed that, between 1973 and June 2000, Cussler had sold no more than 42 million books, rather than the 100 million-plus he had attested to in 2005 in a sworn statement saying that the figure had been "firmly established."
Crusader, which is owned by Denver billionaire and Qwest Communications cofounder Philip Anschutz, alleged that Cussler and his literary agent Peter Lampack had inflated their numbers while trying to wrangle a $20 million deal for Sahara and another book.
Anschutz stated in a deposition that both Cussler and Lampack touted the books' sales during negotiations, with producer Stuart Benjamin and his former attorney William Immerman also testifying to that effect.
Cussler's attorney, Bertram Fields, called the claim "utter hogwash," arguing that the subject never came up.
"He was either lying or he has a poor memory," Cussler said when asked about Anschutz's statement. The novelist also claimed at times to be confused or having a hard time remembering what his associates told him about his sales, saying that he had been told to use the term "books in print" instead of "copies sold," but that he must have forgotten to do so.
It's hard to say if he was that befuddled, but some of Cussler's testimony did earn a dose of skepticism from the judge.
"Mr. Cussler is smart like a fox," Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John P. Shook said Apr. 20, according to a transcript from a closed-door meeting between the jurist and each side's attorneys. "He has got an iron-trap mind. He knows what is going on here."
|bjf123||Posted on May 13 2007, 12:55 AM|
|Unfortunately, regardless of the outcome of the trial, the end result will probably be no more Dirk Pitt movies.|
|rockbank||Posted on May 9 2007, 06:25 AM|
|From what I've read here, this looks very promising for CC. If Anschutz's attorneys can only come up with a 40million vs 100 million book sales, that strikes me as desperation for case they know is all but lost.
But though we may not see any more Dirk Pitt films, CC may well have struck a bigger blow at the Hollywood machinery than anybody realizes.
(Just as a note to the contributor who said that Ian Fleming didn't complain about the movie version of Dr.No, that's not quite true. He stated that those who had read the book may be disappointed, but those that hadn't would love the film.
Fleming was happy with the direction of the early films, so much that he put Ursula Andress into his 1963 novel, "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and pointed out Bond was of scottish descent(like Connery) in the next novel "You Only Live Twice")
|Sandecker Fan||Posted on May 4 2007, 02:23 PM|
With the way the studios have brutalized the books I don't see it as any loss if there isn't anymore movies. Dirk Pitt is where he belongs. In my mind. Everytime I read the books I can see the action in my head and it's a million times better than anything that Hollywood can portray. That's part of the problem with people these days is they expect instant gratification. They aren't willing to take the time to enjoy a well written story. They want Hollywood to tell them their interpretaion of the story. To Hollywood I say
|Ace Roberts||Posted on May 3 2007, 12:58 PM|
| Who knows what is going to happen - the trial is now in the hands of the jury - I just hope they are intelligent enough to see past the circus performance of Marvin Putnam's summation Tuesday - apparently their whole position is the "Forty million books versus 100 million books constitutes fraud". And ..."It was a popcorn movie. It wasn't Macbeth. But it wasn't Raise the Titanic either. It was a big, lush movie. But the movie didn't find its audience. Where were the 100 million fans?"
What is wrong with this picture? You're telling me a major motion picture production company with (supposedly) intelligent people running it based their entire quarter of a billion dollar franchise on what two people "said" versus doing their homework - and that they're still trying to ask "where are the 100 million fans?" thinking that each fan bought ONE book each? This is ludicrous logic and any juror with intelligence beyond the 6th grade will see through this in a heartbeat.
|Riyukco||Posted on May 2 2007, 07:28 PM|
That the way the world works I guess. Darn. I want more movies.
|oswalder||Posted on May 2 2007, 06:07 PM|
|I'm glad to see that the actual issues at hand are being discussed again, rather than the irrelevant stuff. I can't imagine being on the jury and listening to this trial for hours on end. Ugh.|
|CCfansince1976||Posted on May 2 2007, 05:10 PM|
| The bottom line is... nobody wins (lawyers excepted), and no more films...
|Ace Roberts||Posted on May 1 2007, 06:25 PM|
Well - closing arguments is usually an indication that the end is in sight - however - anybody in the real world of litigation or has seen the movie 12 Angry Men knows this thing "could" drag on for some time.
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