A British motion picture studio dropped its lawsuit against a director who allegedly reneged on his promise to shoot the upcoming fourth installment of the “The Expendables” film franchise.
Attorneys for Expendables Productions Ltd. filed court papers on Dec. 29 with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael L. Stern asking that the case against Simon Crane and his loan-out company, Rapscallion Films Ltd., be dismissed.
The court papers did not state if a settlement was reached or if the company was not pursuing the case for other reasons. The complaint was filed Oct. 18, alleging breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and fraud. The studio sought more than $1 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages and a court declaration that Crane was not entitled to any compensation from the studio.
“This action is the result of Crane’s refusal to honor his contractual obligations under his agreement to direct the fourth installment of the massively successful `The Expendables’ motion picture film franchise … and his subsequent abandonment of the picture during pre-production,” the suit stated.
The first three “The Expendables” films were released in 2010, 2012 and 2014 and the forthcoming installment was the subject of the recently dropped lawsuit. The ensemble cast in each movie has included Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jason Statham.
Expendables Productions had reservations about hiring Crane given that he was better known for his work as a second-unit director and, to the plaintiff’s knowledge, had never before directed a major theatrical motion picture film, but the studio decided to take a chance on him, the suit stated.
“As the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished,” the suit stated.
Simon refused to hold meetings, did not communicate with his department heads or hire key crew members on a timely basis, the suit stated.
“Simply put, Crane did almost nothing to prep the picture,” the suit alleged.