Eva Green wins lawsuit over failed film ‘A Patriot
Eva Green has won her lawsuit against the production company White Lantern and film finance company Sherborne Media Finance over the failed movie “A Patriot.” The case centered around Green’s $1 million fee for the film was heard at London’s High Court earlier this year.
Green had claimed that under her “pay or play” contract, she was still owed her fee, which her agent held in escrow, even though the movie had fallen apart.
However, the production company White Lantern disagreed and counter-sued Green for “conspiracy, deceit, and unlawful interference,” claiming she had deliberately sought to undermine the production and cause the film to collapse so she could buy out the script and make it herself.
Mr. Justice Michael Green, who presided over the case, found Green’s favor and dismissed the counter-suit, saying in his judgment: “This was not part of some unlawful conspiracy or deceit,” pointing out the actor “desperately wanted to make the film.”
The movie began to fall apart in 2019 after financing collapsed. Sherborne Media Finance stepped in to provide a “bridge” loan – most of which was used for Green’s fee – to get the production back on track to secure proper funding.
However, as the film market shifted and funding became elusive, Sherborne found themselves on the hook to make the movie to try and rescue the loan money they had provided.
To do that, Green alleged, they reduced the film’s $10 million budget and tried to scrimp on production – including moving the film from shooting on location to in a studio and even suggested recycling props and sets from another television production – resulting in a “B shitty movie” that could potentially have ended Green’s career.
With production finance dwindling, the production stalled entirely, effectively becoming a standoff between Green and White Lantern/Sherborne. If Green walked away, she would breach her contract and lose the $1 million pay-or-play fee; if White Lantern acknowledged the film was dead, Green was entitled to the money.
In his judgment, Mr. Justice Green said: “She may have said some extremely unpleasant things about Mr. Seal and his crew at Black Hangar, but this was borne from a genuine feeling of concern that any film made under Mr. Seal’s control would be of very low quality and would not do justice to a script that she and the former directors were passionate about.”
While on the witness stand, Green blamed her “Frenchness” for causing her to write the simple WhatsApp messages, which the judge did not find “credible or adequate.” In a joint statement from White Lantern and Sherbourne, the companies said: “We are naturally disappointed by today’s judgment and the court’s findings.
We are carefully considering our options for potential next steps, including appeal. However, Eva Green’s suggestion today that this legal action was motivated by or represented gender-based bullying is completely unwarranted. It does not reflect the judgment or evidence heard at court.”
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