Vin Diesel speaking at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International, for "Riddick", at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Vin DieselUploaded by Dudek1337) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Vin Diesel speaking at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Riddick”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Vin DieselUploaded by Dudek1337) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
A producer who sued Vin Diesel and a production company, alleging he’s owed a $275,000 fee and a film credit for a sequel to the movie “xXx,” will have to shore up his complaint for it to move forward, a judge ruled Thursday.

Finalizing a tentative ruling he issued Wednesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Doyle said plaintiff George Zakk needs to clarify issues and provide more details to support his claims against Diesel and Revolution Studios, the producers of “xXx.” Zack alleges breach of contract against both defendants.

Attorneys for the defendants maintain the lawsuit was filed too late, but lawyer Jonathan Dutton, on behalf of Zakk, said the law cited by the defense is inapplicable in his case.

Doyle said he disagreed with Dutton, but added, “It’s not a perfect science to draw the lines here.”

Doyle declined to  consider dismissing the case at this stage.

“Take another stab at it and we’ll see where we find ourselves,” Doyle said.

Doyle gave Zakk’s lawyers 20 days to file an amended complaint. This is the second time Doyle has given Zakk’s lawyers a chance to amend their complaint, having previously done so on Aug. 31.

According to the suit filed May 10, Zakk and Diesel started a business relationship in 1995 in which the plaintiff helped the “The Fast and the Furious” co-star pursue his acting and producing career. In 2001, they formed a production company called One Race Films, the suit states.

Zakk received a production fee of up to $275,000 for each film in which he assisted Diesel, including “xXx” in 2002, according to his court papers.

The two ended their business relationship in 2007, but Zakk claims he was still entitled to fees and credits from future films that the plaintiff helped develop on behalf of Diesel while running One Race Films.

Zakk so far has not been compensated or received a film credit for the “xXx” sequel, “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage,” which he is entitled to by virtue of his work on the original film, the suit states.

Dutton told Doyle that he and Zakk’s other lawyers have been stymied in their attempts to depose the 49-year-old “The Fast and the Furious” franchise co-star in October and again this month, and that they now would like to do so by December. Diesel’s lawyer, Sean Hardy, said a deposition date has not been reached because of the actor’s schedule, but added he expects an agreement can be reached.

Doyle set a status conference for Feb. 15, but said the lawyers can come before then if no resolution of the Diesel deposition dispute is reached sooner.

The “xXx” sequel is scheduled to be released Jan. 20 and will star Diesel and Samuel L. Jackson, according to the lawsuit.

—City News Service

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