Controversial Russian Tycoon Threatens to Sue 20th Century Fox (Report)

Sergei Polonsky - H - 2015
Associated Press

Sergei Polonsky was enraged by a character based on him in a Russian movie distributed by Fox.

Controversial Russian property tycoon Sergei Polonsky is threatening 20th Century Fox with a $1 billion lawsuit for distributing a Russian movie that features a villain allegedly based on him.

"We are preparing a lawsuit against 20th Century Fox in the United States," Polonsky was quoted as saying by the Russian FM radio station Business FM.

Polonsky was apparently enraged by the fact that the main villain in Neulovimye (Uncatchable), which is opening in Russia this week, has a very similar name to his, Sergei Polyansky, and also looks similar to the tycoon.

Meanwhile, producers of Uncatchable, a remake of a 1966 Soviet movie, set in the present time, shrugged off accusations of deliberately basing the character on Polonsky.

"This character is based on various individuals," producer Ivan Kapitonov was quoted as saying by Business FM. "[Polonsky] can go ahead and file his lawsuit."

Over the last few years, Polonsky has been involved in several litigations in Russia. Last year, he lost a defamation lawsuit against a popular TV host.

Polonsky, who until recently was one of Russia's largest property developers, was accused of embezzling millions of dollars in 2013. By then, he had moved to Cambodia and was reportedly granted citizenship in that country. Cambodia refused to extradite Polonsky to Russia later the same year.

Polonsky is on Interpol's "red list" of internationally wanted criminals. He is believed to be still residing in Cambodia, although his exact whereabouts are unknown.