Warner Bros. and Will Smith’s production company were hit with a massive lawsuit over the upcoming biographical film about Serena and the father of Venus Williams.
The project, which has been in development for a while, is titled “King Richard” and is based on Richard Williams’ 2014 memoir “Black and White: The Way I See It”. However, Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment and Warner Bros. are being sued for whether or not they have the intellectual property rights.
The deadline reports that a complaint by TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multi Media was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that they purchased the rights to the book for just $ 10,000 three years ago from Williams’ son and business partner to Chavoita Lesane. . Lesane was allegedly given limited power of attorney over Williams’ book “for the purpose of dealing with film and media rights for his book.”
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The outlet reports that Williams allegedly sold the rights to his life story to the “King Richard” filmmakers for $ 1 million, calling into question the royal ownership of the rights.
Warner Bros. did not comment when contacted by Fox News. Smith’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“This case presents an unfortunate and bothersome situation: the cold and the calculation of the misappropriation and interference with the Plaintiffs’ intellectual property,” the complaint says, according to the newspaper. “Plaintiffs ‘good faith and contractually protected efforts to bring an incredible story to the visual art form were met with Defendants’ greed and disregard for Plaintiff’s existing rights.”
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Also, TW3 and PMMM allege that Lesane was even involved in the first draft of a script they were working on before “King Richard” appeared. In their complaint, the two companies demand far-reaching unspecified damages from any profits made by the Smith-directed film.
His lawsuit also seeks “a court order requiring that all proceeds for any project that uses the Richard Williams Rights be placed in trust for the benefit of the Plaintiffs.”
“The Respondent has neither compensated nor accredited the Plaintiffs for the use of such ideas and materials. Consequently, the Respondent has breached, and continues to breach, its de facto implied contract with the Plaintiffs, ”the lawsuit said.
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Despite legal questions raised by the lawsuit, “King Richard” is reportedly still on its way to launch in 2021.