Film Director, screenwriter, producer, Martin Scorsese, responded to a lawsuit filed against him and his production company, Sikelia Productions, for an alleged breach of contract on the movie project,“Silence,” and for not paying the agreed-upon financial and production credit consideration for Hugo.
Italian movie company, Cecchi Gori Pictures claims it invested more than $750,000 to develop the book “Silence into a feature film. Cecchi Gori further asserts that Scorsese initially agreed in 1990 to co-produce and direct “Silence after he completed “Kundun.” The suit alleges Scorsese and Sikelia arranged to postpone starting on “Silence so the director could make “The Departed (2006), “Shutter Island (2010) and “Hugo” (2011). Earlier this year, Deadline reported that Scorsese planned to make “The Wolf Of Wall Street” with Leonardo DiCaprio. This was news to Cecchi Gori, which notified Scorsese/Sikelia of their alleged breach of contract.
Scorsese rebutted the lawsuit filed against him, dubbing the claims “absurd” and arguing that it “has all the earmarks of a media stunt.”
The iconic director was responding to a suit filed by Cecchi Gori Pictures on Wednesday in a Los Angeles Superior Court, which accused Scorsese of violating contracts he signed to adapt the Japanese novel “Silence.”
“It is shocking to us that the lawyers for Cecchi Gori Pictures would file a suit pursuing such absurd claims considering the amicable working relationship existing between Martin Scorsese and the principals of Cecchi Gori Pictures,” Scorsese said in a statement. “The claims asserted are completely contradicted by, inconsistent with, and contrary to the express terms of an agreement entered into by the parties last year.”
Scorsese allegedly agreed to pay various fees for each film he made before adapting Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel, which chronicles a Jesuit missionary sent to 17th century Japan as security forces persecute Christians.
“Wolf of Wall Street” will be Scorsese’s next film, and the director and his lawyers believe the suit and the inception of his next project are no coincidence.
“The lawsuit filing on the eve of Mr. Scorsese starting another picture has all the earmarks of a media stunt,” the statement continued. “Mr. Scorsese is confident that he will prevail in court should Cecchi Gori Pictures actually pursue this meritless action.”
Scorsese’s camp also accused the production company of doing a media stunt with the suit.
“The claims asserted are completely contradicted by, inconsistent with, and contrary to the express terms of an agreement entered into by the parties last year. The lawsuit filing on the eve of Mr Scorsese starting another picture has all the earmarks of a media stunt,” Dart added.
Hugo was Scorsese’s first 3D film and was released in the US on November 23, 2011.