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Blumhouse Productions says it was “swindled” by the producers of Boss Level after it was brought in to recut and salvage the film because the initial version failed to sell.
Boss Level, which stars Mel Gibson, Frank Grillo and Naomi Watts, was licensed by Hulu — but only after Blumhouse reworked the picture, which the Jason Blum-led company says had been “disappointing and lacking in commercial appeal.”
Blumhouse is suing Emmett Furla Oasis Films, The Fyzz Facility and actress-producer Meadow Williams, alleging that instead of paying what the parties agreed upon, they chose to “misappropriate the fruits of Blumhouse’s creativity and labor for their own unlawful benefit while leaving Blumhouse high and dry.”
According to the breach of contract suit, which was filed Thursday by Marty Singer and David Jonelis of Lavely & Singer, Blumhouse also fronted the cost of the recut (which amounted to more than $126,000). “Blumhouse agreed to ‘recut the Picture’ and to ‘bring its ideas and creativity to the process,'” states the complaint, which is embedded below. “As consideration for Blumhouse’s valuable services, the EFO Defendants jointly and severally agreed that, inter alia, should the ‘New Cut’ of the Picture be ‘licensed in the first instance to a streaming service, e.g., Netflix, Blumhouse [would] be paid 5% of the license fee paid by such service, without deduction of any kind.'”
Blumhouse says the new cut of Boss Level “contains a substantial amount of new material and unique elements created solely by Blumhouse, including a completely new final shot to end the Picture” and contends the contract said the film couldn’t be licensed until it was paid for the work.
“[W]ithout any notice to Blumhouse, the EFO Defendants licensed the ‘New Cut’ of the Picture to Hulu for an all-in fee of $11,750,000, and then (when the concealed deal was discovered by Blumhouse after-the-fact) failed and refused to pay Blumhouse the $587,500 fee to which it is entitled under the Agreement,” states the complaint. “Notably, prior to Blumhouse’s creation of its ‘New Cut,’ Hulu had passed on the opportunity to license the Picture from the EFO Defendants. It was only as a result of Blumhouse’s valuable services that Hulu became interested in licensing the Picture.”
Hulu is also being sued. Blumhouse says it has sent multiple cease-and-desist notices demanding that the streamer stop exploiting the film.
Blumhouse is seeking more than $1.5 million in damages and a declaration that EFO had no right to license Boss Level and Hulu has no right to exploit the film until it is paid.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to reps for Emmett Furla Oasis, Williams and Hulu for comment.
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