Kevin Messick argues in the lawsuit filed today in L.A. Superior Court (read it here) that a 2005 oral joint venture agreement called for him and Don Granger and Gary Levinsohn’s Mutual Film Co to share credit and upfront compensation on Paramount’s One Shot. That’s the project the studio acquired in 2005 and now has Tom Cruise starring, with plans to turn it into a franchise. Messick, an executive at Gary Sanchez Productions, claims he spent five years developing and producing the adaptation of the Lee Child novel and says Granger and Levinsohn dragged their feet on formalizing their venture, eventually shutting him out of writers meetings. “I’m getting the message loud and clear that you have no intention of involving me [with the Picture],” Messick wrote the pair in a June 29, 2011 email. The next month, Paramount secured Cruise for the lead and greenlighted the picture.
According to the lawsuit, Granger and Levinsohn contend that their agreement with Messick was predicated on if the pair “received our deal,” Granger wrote Messick in another email. “We are not receiving our deal on the film.” Messick says such a deal was never a part of their agreement, and the original joint venture should be honored. He is suing for breach of contract, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment.