Hardcore to the tune of more than $25 million, as a defamation and economic-interference lawsuit from the Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For producer is seeking. Asserting that he has long owned the relevant rights to Miller’s iconic Sin City and the 1990-debuting Hard Boiled, L’Heureux claims Miller and co-defendant Silenn Thomas have thwarted big- and small-screen adaptations with the likes of MGM and David Ellison’s Skydance Media.
Naming names, the five-claim complaint filed late on July 27 in LA Superior Court by San Francisco firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP is aiming for “compensatory damages, including lost revenue, loss of future revenue, damage to reputation, loss of good will, and emotional distress in an amount to be proven at trial but estimated to be in excess of $25,000,000” and more.
“Despite these written agreements and repeated admissions and acknowledgements of
L’Heureux’s Sin City Rights and Hard Boiled Rights, and having been fully compensated for granting those rights to L’Heureux, Defendants, individually, collectively, and through their representatives, have engaged in a systematic campaign to defame L’Heureux, to damage his reputation, and to deliberately and wrongfully interfere with his contractual agreements and his prospective economic gain from the production of the Sin City and/or Hard Boiled projects which he intended to produce pursuant to the rights he obtained from Miller,” the jury trial-seeking paperwork states (read it here).
“The claims asserted in Mr. L’Heureux’s lawsuit are baseless, and we will be aggressively defending this lawsuit,” Miller’s attorney Allen B. Grodsky of Grodsky, Olecki & Puritsky LLP told Deadline today.
In the meantime, L’Heureux’s sometimes very personal suit says that Miller and Frank Miller Inc. CEO Thomas repeatedly have made “false, misleading and defamatory statements” over the his ownership of the Sin City and Hard Boiled rights since 2008 to the likes of Ellison and other Skydance execs, MGM’s Michael De Luca and others at the studio, “A List” directors Louis Leterrier and Zack Snyder, CAA’s Bruce Vinokour (L’Heaureux’s agent), Hard Boiled artist Geof Darrow and many more.
To be clear, the TV version of Arthurian saga Cursed, starring 13 Reasons Why alum Katherine Langford, that debuted July 17 on Netflix is not a part of this action. That series and its 10-episode first season based on Miller and Tom Wheeler’s 2019 YA novel is produced by Frank Miller Inc., and the streamer with no involvement from L’Heaureux.
Having said that, the road to a Sin City TV series and a Hard Boiled movie has been rockier than Batman’s face in Miller’s classic The Dark Knight Returns comics for all concerned, it seems. The likes of the now-shuttered Weinstein Company, Legendary and now Skydance have been onboard at one time or another with the former. With Leterrier attached and $250,000 supposedly wired to Miller and split with Darrow in 2009 and then later paid back, the latter project landed at Warner Bros at one point and then MGM, where it apparently isn’t moving forward now.
Which means, in one way or another, the lawsuit over a Hard Boiled movie might prove to be the real drama.