More than a year and a half after Martin Scorsese was sued by producer Cecchi Gori for not directing Silence, the two sides have worked out a deal. “The matter has been settled in its entirety,” said a 1-page order from LA Superior Court Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis. The January 17 order (read it here) offered no details of the settlement. On August 22, 2012, Gori Pictures went after Scorsese and his Sikelia Productions for breach of written contract for allegedly constantly pushing back his commitment to direct an adaptation of Shusako Endo’s novel about Portuguese Jesuit missionaries who travel Japan to investigate reports of Christians persecuted and tortured by the Emperor of Japan. Claiming that they had invested more than $750,000 in the project, Cecchi Gori wanted millions in producer fees plus credits and 20% of Scorsese/Sikelia’s backend participation on “each feature film that Scorsese should direct after Hugo and before Silence (including without limitation Wolf of Wall Street),” said their complaint. In response, the director said the “meritless action” suit had “all the earmarks of a media stunt.” The two sides kept grinding away and after various filings put a stop on the court clock to work on a settlement.
At the same time, Silence is now moving ahead as The Wolf Of Wall Street director’s next project. Scorsese helped successfully sell the pic in a number of territories in Cannes last year with Emmett/Furla Films, Corsan Films and AI Film on board as financiers. Filming is tentatively set to start this summer in Taiwan.
Marty Singer and Allison Hart of Lavely & Singer represented Scorsese in the suit. Gori Pictures were represented by Charles Harder and Marc Rohatiner of LA firm Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin.