The producers of Cops are taking the producers and distributors of Brooklyn’s Finest and Leaves Of Grass to court over money they say they are owed from the films. In an 11-page complaint filed today, (read it here) Langley Films, who make the long running police series, say Avi Lerner’s Nu Image, as well as Leaves of Grass Productions Inc. and Brooklyn’s Finest Distribution Inc., failed to honor an agreement to pay the company “a portion of the revenues” from both the 2010 comedy and the 2009 crime drama. The three companies are cited as defendants with Lerner, Nu Image/Millennium Films’ Trevor Short and former Nu Image/Millennium foreign sales chief Danny Dimbort named as principals who “may have engaged in a scheme to defraud Langley Films.” Millennium/Nu Image are the producers of, among other films, the upcoming The Expendables 2, Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy and the White House thriller Olympus Has Fallen directed by Antoine Fuqua who helmed Brooklyn’s Finest.
Citing breach of contract and accounting, Langley says in 2008 it gave $3.65 million to pay some development and production costs on the Richard Gere and Don Cheadle-starring Brooklyn’s Finest and $1.5 million for the same for the Edward Norton and Susan Sarandon-starring Leaves of Glass. The complaint alleges that not only has it not received the promised revenue but also that the defendants partially reneged on an August 31, 2011 agreement to pay back the some of the money the Santa Monica-based independent producer had given them. “Under the Settlement Agreement, Defendants agreed, inter alia, to pay Langley Films (1) $2 million by February 1, 2012 and (2) an amount not less than $300,000 by June 30, 2012.” While it looks like they got their $2 million, Langley says they did not get the “not less than $300,000” payment from Nu Image by the due date and that therefore, under that 2011 agreement, they can go after the full amount, take a look at the books and get the film revenues they say are due to them. They are also seeking other reimbursement “in an amount to be settled at trial” in damages, legal fees and other costs. The plaintiffs want a 10-day jury trial. Langley Films is represented by Jeffrey M. Hammer and Christopher G. Caldwell of Los Angeles’ Caldwell Leslie & Proctor.