Home Production company ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ screenwriter says production company ripped him off in retrial

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ screenwriter says production company ripped him off in retrial


Anthony McCarten, screenwriter of Freddie Mercury’s hit 2019 biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” has accused production company GK Films of failing to pay him the full amount owed to him in a new lawsuit filed Nov. 10 in Los Angeles.

McCarten, the film’s sole credited screenwriter, claims his contract entitled him to an “amount equal to 5% of 100% of ‘net proceeds,'” which the contract stipulated was to be “calculated, determined and payable in accordance with Standard Definition.” of the Company in relation to the Image (subject to good faith negotiation, including any endorsements to the standard definition that the Company customarily provides).

Filmed on a $55 million budget, “Bohemian Rhapsody” grossed over $900 million worldwide; despite this, McCarten says in his lawsuit, his “five points did not bring in a single dollar, as the picture has a deficit of $51 million – at least according to the accounting statements released by the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation” .

McCarten’s lawsuit says that under his contract, the amount owed to him would be determined by GK Films’ own standards. However, the statements he received excluding any payment for the film “appear to be based on Fox’s definition of ‘Defined Net Proceeds’, rather than GK Films’ standard definition of ‘Net Proceeds’, as amended by a negotiation in good faith,” the lawsuit states. .

The lawsuit states that “all of McCarten’s conditional box office bonuses have been paid” due to the film’s historic box office success; despite this, according to the suit, Fox repeatedly informed McCarten that the film was loss-making.

The lawsuit also speculates that GK Films never had a definition of “net proceeds” and that it had “no intention of developing such a definition, as it had no intention” of determining what was due to McCarten.

In addition to GK Films, the lawsuit names a California-based company called WGAW, Inc., which the lawsuit says has an address in Santa Monica that also serves as contact information for GK Films. “Plaintiff is aware of and believes, and on that basis alleges, that GK Films transacts through WAGW, shares office space with WAGW, employs the same employees and officers, and has the same director,” the suit states. “Accordingly, in performing the acts alleged herein, WAGW, Inc. was acting as an agent, principal, employee or alter ego of GK Films.”

The lawsuit accuses GK Films of breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and what amounts to shady accounting. McCarten is asking for monetary damages to be determined at trial, a “judicial statement of the contractual rights and duties of the parties in connection with the writer’s agreement here alleged” and a full account of the film’s takings. He also seeks coverage for court costs, prejudgment interest, and any additional relief to be determined by the court.

GK Films did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this post.