Kevin Costner has filed a $12 million (£9.7 million) lawsuit relating to the profits of his movie Open Range.
The 2003 Western film, which Costner directed, co-produced, and starred in, cost less than $28 million (£23 million) to make, with the development of the project personally funded by the actor.
However, according to legal documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Costner is now suing distributor Cobalt Pictures, Kew Media Group, and several other associates, via his Open Range Productions company. He has claimed to have lost out in regards to millions of dollars worth of profits and alleged that he has never been given an accounting statement.
Costner, 64, described the movie, which also featured Robert Duvall and Annette Bening, as “one of the best and most popular Western movies of all time”, and claimed Open Range brought in “well over $1 billion in worldwide gross revenue”.
His attorney Howard Kaplan asserted that Costner negotiated to finance part of the movie and took a significant pay cut to ensure “that profit participants could start collecting their earnings sooner”.
Under the deal, Open Range Productions would collect 70 per cent of the revenue in perpetuity.
Costner estimates the shortfall in profits is at least $9.7 million and alleges that Cobalt Pictures failed to provide the accounting statements required by their agreement, and also went on to negotiate distribution rights online without the Dances with Wolves star’s consent.
The two-time Oscar winner is suing for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the obligation of good faith and fair dealing and conversion, and is seeking $12 million in general and special damages, plus punitive damages.
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