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Martin Scorsese facing lawsuit for breach of contract

Film lovers in Florida and across the nation may be familiar with the work of Cecchi Gori Pictures, an Italian film production company that has worked with many industry giants such as Fellini and Mastroiannia. The company is currently making headlines across the globe, not for an exciting new release or yet another Oscar nomination (they have won four) but over legal troubles. The company has filed a lawsuit against American film director Martin Scorsese, claiming that the director is in breach of contract. He is also accused of both negligent and intentional misrepresentation.

According to Cecchi Gori Pictures, Scorsese was contracted to direct their film ‘Silence,’ which is said to be based on the persecution of 17th-century Jesuit priests who traveled to Japan to promote Christianity. The film is based on a Japanese novel, and was set to star Daniel Day-Lewis. However, it appears that Scorsese has moved on to another project, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. That project centers on the story of a stockbroker who refuses to assist prosecutors in a securities fraud case.

The film production company claims that they have tried to reach Scorsese for several months to discuss their project, but have not been able to communicate with him. In response to the recently filed lawsuit, the director released a statement expressing surprise that such action would be taken, when the two parties have always enjoyed an amicable partnership. He added that the claims within the suit are inconsistent with the contract that was created in 2011, and that he expects to prevail in court, if the case makes it that far.

As this case moves forward, film buffs in Florida and elsewhere will likely keep a close eye on the developments. If the two parties are able to work out a settlement prior to heading to court, their working relationship may be preserved, which could lead to continued excellence in filmmaking in further collaborations between the two. However, should this breach of contract litigation take an ugly turn, it is possible that Scorsese may never work with the company again. Furthermore, the outcome of this case could set a legal precedent for the manner in which film contracts are enforced in future cases.

Source: newjerseynewsroom.com, “Martin Scorsese sued by major Italian studio: What director is accused of doing,” Paula Schwartz, Aug. 25, 2012

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