Filmmaker John Singleton has filed suit against Paramount Pictures and MTV Films alleging broken promises to greenlight, finance and distribute a pair of future movies as part of a deal to distribute Hustle & Flow, on which Singleton served as producer. In the suit Singleton, whose most recent credit is as director of the Taylor Lautner vehicle Abducted for Lionsgate, claims he agreed to have Paramount distribute the Craig Brewer-directed Hustle & Flow in 2005 for a fee of $9 million in addition to the studio’s promise on the two future projects as long as neither of their budgets exceeded $3.5 million. Based on those conditions, Singleton as producer also granted Paramount the right to distribute Black Snake Moan, which Brewer also directed. Singleton claims Paramount made money on Hustle & Flow, which earned an Oscar for best song and grossed more than $22 million domestically. Paramount subsequently placed what the suit describes as impossible conditions on the projects the studio had promised Singleton it would finance. Singleton says in the suit that he passed up numerous opportunities with other companies because of his arrangement with Paramount, and he’s seeking at least $20 million in damages.
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