Film Fridays – Kevin Costner settles lawsuit with production company for allegedly using his name, then firing him

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 11: Actor Kevin Costner attends the "Criminal" New York Premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on April 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images)
Kevin Costner and a production company reached a $1.4 million settlement of a lawsuit in which he alleged the firm used his name to sell a film at the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2016 and later took him off the project without compensating him.

Lawyers for defendants Kylin Pictures International Inc. and Kylin Pictures Inc. filed court papers with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Kendig stating that the Oscar-winning actor-director’s case was resolved and that a judgment is ready to be entered. A hearing is scheduled Jan. 23.

The two sides reached a conditional settlement in September, but Kylin’s lawyers stated in their court papers that a complete resolution still required the completion of some remaining terms.

The 62-year-old Costner, along with production company Treehouse Films LLC, sued Kylin Pictures in October 2016, alleging breach of contract.

According to the complaint, Treehouse and Beacon Films signed a deal in April 2016 to produce “Shanghai Sojourners,” the story of a Chinese woman who falls in love with a Jewish man during World War II and tries to help him escape the Nazis.

According to the lawsuit, Costner and producer Armyan Bernstein were set to receive a combined producing fee of $3 million. On top of that, Treehouse and Beacon were to receive a $1 million overhead fee and a share of profits, the complaint alleged.

During the Shanghai International Film Festival in the summer of 2016, Kylin promoted the film and highlighted the involvement of Costner and Treehouse, resulting in investments in the film. According to the suit, Kylin had already decided to fire Costner and Treehouse, but waited until August 2016 to tell them.

Kendig dismissed the lawsuit’s fraud claim in 2017 because Costner’s attorneys could not show Kylin had any duty to the plaintiffs to disclose an alleged intent by the company to later repudiate the agreement.

– Article written by Christina Kelly for MynewsLA.com. Find the article here

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