Skip to comments.Gibson Wants No 'Passion' Disclosure
Posted on 04/04/2008 9:52:38 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Mel Gibson, who's being sued by a writer over payment for the "The Passion of the Christ" screenplay, wants to keep financial information about the blockbuster movie out of the public eye.
Benedict Fitzgerald claimed in his February lawsuit that Gibson misled him into accepting a small payment for writing the script by saying the movie would cost between $4 million and $7 million.
Fitzgerald, who shared screenwriting credits with Gibson, claimed he agreed to "a salary substantially less than what he would have taken had he known the true budget for the film," which the lawsuit claimed was $25 million to $50 million. The lawsuit claims fraud, breach of contract and unjust enrichment, and seeks unspecified damages.
In court filings Tuesday, attorneys for Gibson and his production company asked the court to seal the movie's financial records and only allow Fitzgerald's lawyers access to them. The information details the movie's domestic and foreign box office receipts, production costs and distribution expenses.
The defense is also seeking to dismiss some of Fitzgerald's claims, including fraud, which if proven would allow Fitzgerald to seek punitive damages.
LOL...what was to write? The story came from the four Gospels in Aramaic. I’d say he was over-paid.
There were two other - and IMO pervasive - sources for Gibson's Passion. Many specific story points and details in the movie were lifted from Anne Catherine Emmerich's "vision" Dolorous Passion, and from the "private revelations" given to Mary of Agreda.
Imagine if a plumber or an electrician came back to us after we sold a home they contracted to help build and demanded more because they didn't know how much the home would sell for?
I’d like to see what the “small” salary was.
If the basis of your costs is on the total budget (I don’t know how things are done in the movie business, so that might be true) and you were lied to about the total budget, I’d say it was a reason to sue.
Do you know how these contracts normally work?
Gibson admits as much. On the DVD there is a commentary track with Gibson and two Catholic Theologins and they generally point out which parts of the movie are based on those sources. It's a very cool commentary which points out lots of little subtle things going on in the movie I never would have picked up on watching on my own.
The document states that Fitzgerald was told by Gibson that he would be working on a small, four to seven-million-dollar project that would yield little money for the former, and none for the latter. However, some accounts reveal that the film grossed over 600 million dollars worldwide. Fitzgerald's complaint is that he was paid 75,000 dollars, and that he had to borrow 200,000 dollars from Gibson for expenses.Apparently part of the rub is that Gibson promised FItzgerald that he (Gibson) would never profit from the movie, because it would be wrong to make money from the story of Jesus. Instead, Gibson has paid himself $30 million.
Can’t say that I do. Something more for lawyers than film buffs.
Yes, if that is what the contract said. But if the contract does not state that, the guy only has himself to blame.
>> Something more for lawyers than film buffs.<<
Well, I thought maybe you could have seen a case like this connected to the history of Hollywood. But thanks!