Producers Roy Lee, Dan Lin and Doug Davison today launched their own lawsuit in the escalating legal war over the Godzilla reboot. The duo filed a suit against Legendary Pictures in LA Superior Court on Thursday, with the cross complaint alleging breach of contract among other counts (read it here). Seeking a jury trial and millions in damages, this latest legal action also names fellow Godzilla producer and Legendary President/CCO Jon Jashni as a defendant. Legendary’s Chairman and CEO Thomas Tull was not named in the suit. Today’s action comes in response to Legendary’s suit earlier this month to have Lee and Lin and fellow producer Davison removed from the movie with a $25,000 payout. An action that today’s cross complaint says came about only because the trio of producers were going to assert their claims to a project that that they say they brought to Legendary and that they developed. “By this action, Cross-Complainants seek a judicial declaration that the never-discussed arbitration provision in the unsigned draft agreement is not enforceable and that this dispute must be tried before a jury in the Los Angeles Superior Court. More importantly, Cross-Complainants seek substantial compensatory damages, in the millions of dollars, resulting from Legendary’s material breach of its agreement to pay them the fixed and contingent compensation to which they are contractually entitled. Cross-Complainants seek specific performance of Legendary’s agreement to accord them screen credit and allow them to participate in prequels, sequels, and remakes or, if such relief is unavailable, recovery of the substantial damages resulting from the loss of such credit and opportunities,” says today’s suit.
In their previous suit, Legendary alleges that the producers did not contribute much of note to Godzilla’s pre-production and that their services are no longer required. The company says the trio are only entitled to the $25,000 based on a March 2011 Producer Loan Agreement between them and the company. Lee, Lin and Davison disagree. Which is why Legendary, in their January 9th filing, also sought to have the courts order arbitration to halt any potential temporary restraining order against the film’s production that the company claims the producers threatened to launch if they weren’t more fully compensated. The new Godzilla is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros and Legendary on May 16 2014. Lee, Lin and Davison are represented by the law firm Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor, LLP.