Kevin Costner Sues Producers of His 1991 Film “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”
(LOS ANGELES) — Academy Award winner Kevin Costner has filed a suit against the production company of his own movie, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, claiming it reneged on its obligation to pay him his share of revenue from the hit film.
Costner said he was promised 15 percent of sales from Robin Hood, which generated over $25 million in its opening weekend in the U.S. in May 1991, earned over $390 million in worldwide theatrical revenue, and “tens of millions more from worldwide television, home video and other sources,” according to the suit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court this week.
“The main beneficiary of this success has been the production company that made the [film], Morgan Creek,” the suit says. Morgan Creek Productions is an independent production company in Santa Monica, Calif., founded in 1988. The company also produced the Young Guns and Major League franchises and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and its sequel, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.
Costner is suing for actual and punitive damages, claiming breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment.
This is Costner’s second Hollywood legal battle this summer. Last month, a federal jury in New Orleans sided with Costner after actor Stephen Baldwin claimed he was kept in the dark over an oil cleanup contraption Costner helped develop.
“When Morgan Creek contracted with Mr. Costner to appear in the film, they promised that if the film was successful, they would share the profits with him,” the suit says. “However, when it came time to report and account to Mr. Costner, Morgan Creek was less than forthcoming.”
Morgan Creek Productions did not return a message requesting comment.
“Everyone deserves to be compensated for their work in an honest and timely manner no matter what their profession,” Mr. Costner’s publicists said in a statement to ABC News. “Unfortunately Morgan Creek has not operated in an honest and timely manner where the agreed upon compensation for Kevin Costner’s work in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is concerned, so he has been forced to take this action to hold them accountable.”
Costner claims Morgan Creek promised him 12.5 percent of the movie’s adjusted gross sales above $60 million and 15 percent of adjusted gross sales above $100 million, among other revenue.
Costner claims Morgan Creek Productions was “consistently late in rendering statements” and “they simply stopped altogether.”
In addition, the actor claims Morgan Creek Productions “drastically underreported” home video sales and failed to report any television sales.
The suit also claims the company “intentionally concealed information and employed inaccurate and improper accounting practices designed to deprive Mr. Costner of his backend participation.”
Costner further claims Morgan Creek went behind his back in 2006 and assigned the foreign distribution rights of Robin Hood and other films for $21 million to Morgan Creek International, a sister company owned by its CEO James Robinson, which is now called Inverness. Costner claims the production company did not report “a single dollar … in connection with the sale.”
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