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Fw: Current News of Lawsuit

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  • Nancy Silk
    This pretty much states the history of the lawsuit. Mr. Cussler was not happy with his production of Raise the Titanic. Thus, he wanted more control over
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 12, 2007
      This pretty much states the history of the lawsuit.
      Mr. Cussler was not happy with his production of "Raise the Titanic."
      Thus, he wanted more control over script and cast selection for "Sahara."
      He finally just stood up and was not going to be steamrolled again....

      Here's the article I forwarded last week.

      From: Nancy Silk
      Date: 02/06/07 08:05:35
      To: clivecusslerfanclub@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Current News of Lawsuit

      Recent news on Clive Cussler's lawsuit:

      Clive Cussler Sahara Lawsuit Headed for Trial

      The lawsuit over the film version of the Clive Cussler book Sahara is in
      full swing. And it's a doozy -- the main backer of the film, billionaire
      Philip Anschutz, is suing Cussler saying that Cussler lied about how popular
      his books were, which caused Anschutz to lose $105 million when the film was
      not a giant box office success. Cussler is furious that they wouldn't let
      him write the script and said they messed up his book. Millions of dollars
      are at stake, not to mention the fact that the way book sales are calculated
      is now squarely in the public eye.
      Attorneys for Philip Anschutz allege that author Clive Cussler duped the
      Denver industrialist into paying $10 million for film rights to the
      adventure novel "Sahara" by flagrantly inflating his book sales to more than
      100 million copies. "Cussler and his agent had gotten away with these
      numbers for years," said Alan Rader, Anschutz's lawyer. "It was a lie and it
      doomed the movie." The claim is "ridiculous," Cussler said Thursday outside
      a courtroom at Los Angeles County Superior Court. "They wanted the book.
      They solicited us."

      The allegations surfaced at the start of a civil trial that seeks to settle
      a dispute over who is responsible for Anschutz's company losing $105 million
      on "Sahara," the 2005 movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz.
      The trial, which includes claims of sabotage, fraud, profligate spending and
      racism, is expected to provide a rare behind-the-scenes look at the world of
      moviemaking. Lawyers selected a jury Thursday and are scheduled to make
      opening arguments today.

      Among those on the witness list are Anschutz, the secretive 67-year-old
      multibillionaire; former Paramount Pictures Chairwoman Sherry Lansing;
      director Breck Eisner, the son of the former Walt Disney Co. chairman;
      McConaughey, who also served as executive producer; and Cussler, the
      75-year-old author. Cussler initially sued Anschutz's Crusader Entertainment
      in 2004, charging that producers reneged on a contract that gave the author
      extraordinary approval rights over the screenplay. Anschutz countersued,
      alleging that Cussler deliberately torpedoed the film through his repeated
      attempts to write his own scripts, all of which were rejected by the
      producers. Both sides are seeking millions of dollars in damages.

      In court papers, Anschutz's attorneys claim that Cussler "perpetrated a
      massive fraud" to secure an "unprecedented" contractual agreement in 2000.
      The essence of Cussler's fraud was simple: He lied about how many books he
      had sold to induce Crusader to enter the agreement," the papers state. In
      addition to their effect on the trial, the allegations may raise broader
      questions about the authenticity of publishing-industry sales figures.
      Although they declined to comment on the specifics of the Cussler case, New
      York publishing experts said Thursday that the industry had a long history
      of inflating book sales and hyping an author's success. But these practices
      have declined, they added, with the emergence of Nielsen BookScan in 2001.
      Cussler's publisher Simon and Schuster says Cussler has sold 100 million
      copies of his books worldwide, which sounds about right. You can't walk into
      a bookstore, drugstore or airport store without stumbling over several of
      the man's books. We think Anschutz is a sore loser: there are no guarantees
      in the movie business. And any way, we saw Sahara: it was the script that
      doomed that movie. And any juror who saw the movie will agree: we like
      McConaughey, but his character wasn't anything like the Dirk Pitt of the
      books. And Penelope Cruz was woefully miscast. But it was the script that
      doomed the movie: maybe they should have let Cussler write it, after all.

      Posted on February 3, 2007
      On Book Blog

      Nancy/Dachsies for Life
      Motto: Live, Love and Laugh

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