May 10, 2011 6:10pm PT by Matthew Belloni
Joel Silver Wins Round One In Goldman Sachs Lawsuit
Producer Joel Silver has won the first round in his bold lawsuit against Goldman Sachs over a series of financial arrangements related to his Dark Castle genre film company.
Federal judge Ronald Lew today denied Goldman's motion to dismiss Silver's multi-faceted case against the investment bank for breach of contract, fraud and other causes of action. The powerhouse producer behind the Matrix films and Die Hard sued in December claiming Goldman orally agreed (and then followed up in written correspondence) to pay him $30 million in exchange for a share of revenue from films made by Dark Castle, the Warner Bros.-based division of his Silver Pictures. Silver claims he helped Goldman arrange another deal and was promised a big deal of his own. Full background on the case here.
Goldman later fired back at Silver, calling the suit "implausible" and "absurd." The investment bank's attorneys at David Boies' firm then filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing, among other things, that any agreement with Goldman would have been extensively documented in writing.
But Judge Lew today denied the effort to toss the case at the procedural stage, pleasing Silver attorney Bert Fields.
"My client had a deal with Goldman and Goldman welched on their deal," Fields tells us. "It's as simple as that. Goldman agreed to pay him a lot of money and welched."
We've reached out to Goldman attorney Fred Norton and will update if he responds.
No trial date has been set in the case. Both sides will begin gathering evidence, with the next step likely being summary judgment motions.