With an industry as big and influential as Hollywood where a lot of hard work and money is pumped into the various movies, there are bound to be legal issues once in a while between certain parties involved in the production of the motion-pictures.
London Fields is a 2018 live cinematic adaptation of a 1989 book by Martin Amis that was directed by Mathew Cullen and has a star-studded cast that includes, among others, Amber Heard, Theo James and Billy Bob Thornton. The film was pulled from the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015 after Cullen filed a lawsuit against the film’s producers, for fraud, failing to pay him, and taking away final cut.
The producers responded to the lawsuit stating : “The timing and the content of the director’s lawsuit shows that it is a publicity stunt. The filing of Mathew Cullen’s complaint violates the arbitration provisions of his own guild, the Directors Guild of America. Sadly, Mathew can’t deal with the fact that he does not control the final cut of the movie. He was given two deadlines to deliver a ‘director’s cut’ and missed both deadlines. His guild has rules for withdrawing his name from the picture and he missed those deadlines. The production company will vigorously oppose the lawsuit.”
The producers stayed true to their word not long after in November of the same year by presenting a counterclaim on the grounds of breach of contract , saying they had terminated Cullen’s formal editing rights period and notified the D.G.A when the film was $2 million over budget and late for delivery.
They accuse Cullen of violating both his agreement with them and D.G.A rules by working on a music video for pop sensation Katy Perry i.e. ‘Dark Horse’ in the time period that he was editing London Fields. Additionally, they stated that the director withheld promotional support and committed tortious inference by discouraging the film’s stars from performing promotional and post-production services. In April 2016, a judge allowed the case to proceed.
In November 2016, a second lawsuit was filed by the producers suing Amber Heard for $10 million claiming that the decorated actress and Cullen made unauthorised changes to the film’s script and failed to finish voice-over work. Heard counter-sued claiming the producers violated a nudity clause in her contract.
Despite the fact that the film’s trailer debuted on 5 June 2018, the fate of it’s release date was still up in the air given that Heard had not yet reached a settlement with the producers; a settlement that eventually came into being this month. The film is now set to be released theatrically in Russia on 20 September 2018 and in the United States on 26 October 2018.