Eva Green, producers battle in UK court over collapsed film
Thu, Jan 26, 2023 11:02 AM
By JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — A lawyer for Eva Green alleged Thursday that producers of a collapsed film tried to damage the French actress’ reputation by depicting her as a “diva.”
The performer, who played Vesper Lynd in James Bond thriller “Casino Royale,” is suing producers for a $1 million fee she says she is owed for “A Patriot."
Green, 42, was lined up to star in the sci-fi thriller alongside Charles Dance and Helen Hunt, and was also an executive producer on the project, which collapsed in late 2019.
Production company White Lantern Film is fighting the claim and is countersuing, saying Green made “unreasonable demands” and undermined the production. Hearings in the case opened Thursday at the High Court in London.
Green’s lawyer, Edmund Cullen, said the movie had been a “passion project” for Green and she had “bent over backwards to get this done.”
He said Green “loved the script and wanted the film to be made,” but “the financial plan was never going to work.”
“This case is designed to paint my client as a diva to win headlines and damage her reputation,” the lawyer said.
Lawyers for the production company argue in written submissions that Green had expressed “a lack of confidence and dissatisfaction” regarding some of the production team and had grown increasingly reluctant to be involved in the project.
White Lantern’s evidence includes expletive-filled text messages in which Green called one of the film’s executive producers, Jake Seal, “evil” a “devious sociopath” and a “mad man,” and branded production manager Terry Bird a “moron.”
Max Mallin, a lawyer for the production company, said that in the messages Green accused Seal of wanting to make a “cheap B movie” and called local crew members at the production facility in southern England “peasants.”
Mallin said Green had “a vitriolic aversion to making a film that White Lantern could and was going to make.”
“We have got a critical split between the expectation of Eva Green and the film she wanted to make and what the budget could afford,” he said.
Green’s attorney, Cullen, said the text message had to be seen “in context” as “an informal venting of a stream of consciousness” during a tense stage of the film’s production.
He accused the production company of seeking “to lay every failure of the production at Ms. Green’s door.”
“It seems to be designed to blacken the name of an actor who has not breached a contract or missed a day’s shooting in a career spanning 20 years,” he said in written arguments.
Green is scheduled to testify on Monday. The case is due to last for about two weeks.