Kevin Costner and his Treehouse Films have filed a $3,85 million breach of contract suit against Chinese financier Kylin Pictures and various unnamed defendants for backing out of a proposed film Shanghai Sojourners.
The film is described on Kylin’s website as follows: “During WWII while Shanghai was under control by Japanese forces, a young Chinese woman falls in love with a young Jewish man exiled from his home in Europe. Together, they plot his escape from China before the Nazi movement implements their ‘Final Solution.’ “
According to the suit, Treehouse and Beacon Films agreed in April to produce the film, with Costner and Beacon’s Armyan Bernstein to receive a combined $3 million producers’ fee. But by August 29, Kylin and various John Does told Treehouse and Beacon “they no longer wanted Costner, Treehouse, Beacon or Bernstein to be involved in the production.”
Costner and Treehouse say they’d already fulfilled some of their obligations, including Costner’s 104-page rewrite of Dan Gordon’s screenplay. Further, the plaintiffs say Kylin had already promoted the film — and Costner’s involvement — at the Shanghai International Film Festival in June.
The suit, filed in California Superior Court in L.A. today, says Costner is owed $2.85 million and Treehouse $1 million, and credits and a share of the profits if the film is produced.