Mel Gibson is suing the production house, Voltage Pictures, for stalling the production of his dream project, The Professor and the Madman.
A story in The Hollywood Reporter says that Mel Gibson and producing partner Bruce Davey, have been working for nearly two decades on the film, based on a Simon Winchester book of the same name. The film tells the story of the Oxford English Dictionary. The film was being written by Farhad Sainia, who will also be directing it. Mel Gibson and Sean Penn were to be lead actors.
Gibson and Davey entered into a co-production agreement with Voltage Films, to bring the film to release. However, in his complaint, Gibson alleges that the production house, Voltage, was jeopardizing the film, which “was, and is a labour of love”, for the producer and director.
Further, the complaint states that the agreement with Voltage “require that things such as material changes to the screenplay, change of director from Mr Safinia to someone else, the final production budget and schedule, and selection of filming locations be agreed to by Icon and Mr Gibson.”
Mel Gibson’s attorney, Jeffery McFarland, who made the complaint, also states. “Further, as extra insurance that his vision of the film was protected, Mr Gibson has the right, if necessary, to select the final cut of the film that is released between a cut prepared by Mr Safinia and a cut prepared by Voltage.”
However, Voltage has, according to the complaint, failed to live up to its end of the bargain. They have not secured a completion bond for the film, could not shoot critical scenes in Oxford, and have not paid Farhad, or Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey, for their work on the film.
Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey, through their production company Icon Films, are filing for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and promissory fraud against Voltage, and its CEO Nicolas Chartier.
Pic: Catholic Herald