A lengthy legal dispute over a never-made film starring French actress Eva Green reached London’s High Court on Thursday.
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Green, who starred alongside Daniel Craig in James Bond film “Casino Royale”, is seeking payment of her acting fee for the aborted sci-fi film project titled “A Patriot”.
The 42-year-old actress is suing UK-based production company White Lantern Film, claiming she is still entitled to her million-dollar (£810,000) fee.
The production, first announced in 2018, collapsed the following year.
Green then filed a lawsuit claiming she should receive her contractual fee under a “pay or play” clause. She is also seeking legal costs.
White Lantern Film production company countersued Green, alleging that she derailed the £4 million project by making “unreasonable demands” and dropping out of the lead role.
The trial is expected to last eight days. The judge will then rule at a later date.
Green did not appear at the first full hearing Thursday, when her lawyer Edmund Cullen defended her professionalism.
The actress “wanted the film to be made, she bent over backwards to get this done”, Cullen said, calling it her “passion project”, for which she was an executive producer.
Cullen accused the production company of trying to depict Green as a “diva to win headlines and damage her reputation”.
In a written defence, the production company’s lawyer Max Mallin said Green was “increasingly reluctant to be involved in the production” and quoted text messages where she harshly criticises several of the production crew members.
In them, she calls the film’s executive producer Jake Seal a “devious psychopath” and production manager Terry Bird “a (expletive) moron”.
Her lawyer Cullen conceded that Green’s “language is unguarded and at times strongly and perhaps carelessly expressed”.
But he accused White Lantern of trying to “lay every failure of the production at Ms Green’s door”, while in fact the project was in a “state of complete dysfunction”.
Cullen last year represented two former members of the Sex Pistols who won a London court battle against ex-frontman John Lydon over allowing the use of the punk band’s music in a Disney drama series.
The website Celebrity Net Worth estimates Green is worth $10 million.