The WGA West has reached a $1 million settlement with Luc Besson’s Seaside Productions to cover unpaid residuals on 23 films. Guild records show that the company, which is owned and managed by the French filmmaker, had a “history of contract violations and noncompliance” and has been “inconsistent in paying residuals.”
Besson is perhaps best known as the writer-director of The Fifth Element, Lucy and last year’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, though it’s unclear which films are covered by the settlement. As part of the deal, Seaside has agreed to create a $300,000 escrow account to secure the payment of future residuals. Guild records also show that the WGA has taken “a number of measures to protect against future contract breaches.”
The guild’s legal department has collected more than $2 million in unpaid residuals, initial compensation and pension and health contributions on behalf of members this year alone. It secured more than $5 million worth last year.