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Producers of Tom Cruise film slapped with breach of contract suit

The producers of an upcoming Tom Cruise movie are being sued for breach of contract by another producer who is no longer involved with the project. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, alleges that the producers of "One Shot" edged him out of the film adaptation of the best-selling novel.

The producer who filed the suit is asking for unspecified damages, producer's fees and the rights to participate in any of the movie's potential sequels -- a significant request, because Tom Cruise's character is featured in many of the book author's other novels.

The plaintiff first joined the "One Shot" project in 2005 and helped develop the film, renew Paramount Pictures options for the film rights, and search for a screenwriter. But the producer says that in July 2010, two of the film's other producers began excluding him from meetings with the production team. They continued to assure him, however, that he would remain involved in the project.

The suing producer says he eventually became so frustrated from being cast aside that he sent an email to one of the producers in June 2011. "I'm getting the message loud and clear that you have no intention of involving me," the email read. "Am I wrong?"

Another month went by, and the studio made the announcement that Cruise would star in the film, which had gotten the green light. The producer to whom the plaintiff sent the email said he would do what he could to give the shunned producer credit, but that he and his partner were not getting "our deal" on the film. He said their failure to secure that deal essentially nullified their oral agreement with the plaintiff, according to his lawsuit.

Business agreements that have nothing to do Hollywood or major motion pictures often fall prey to such breaches of contract. If you're involved in a contract dispute, an attorney experienced in business law can represent you and ensure that you take the best legal course of action.

Source: Reuters, "Producers on Tom Cruise film sued for breach of contract," Brent Lang, Feb. 6, 2012

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