Bond girl Eva Green made ‘crazy’ hiring suggestions including Dark Knight filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s director of photography for her doomed sci-fi movie, court hears
- The Casino Royale actress, 42, had been due to appear in A Patriot in 2019
- Ms Green is suing production company White Lantern Films for $1million
- White Lantern says she made ‘unreasonable demands’ and undermined the film
Hollywood star Eva Green made ‘crazy’ suggestions about hiring elite staff including Batman and Inception director Christopher Nolan’s director of photography for a doomed sci-fi movie she is accused of sabotaging, the High Court heard today.
The former Bond girl has also been blamed for losing Oscar winners Kathy Bates and Tim Robbins from the project due to her TV filming schedule.
The actress, 42, is embroiled in a bitter legal battle with the makers of A Patriot, a £4million movie about the ‘climate catastrophe’, with each side blaming the other for the production’s demise.
Ms Green – best known for playing Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale opposite Daniel Craig as 007 – was the star of the feature before production shut down in 2019 and she now wants to claim her £810,000 ($1million) fee.
Giving evidence to the High Court today, the film’s writer and director Dan Pringle said her fee hampered efforts to make the film. He also said she made ‘unrealistic’ suggestions about crew that could be hired, which he called ‘crazy’ and ‘Hail Marys’.
Mr Pringle claimed that Ms Green said they should ‘reach for the stars’ and approach Christopher Nolan’s director of photography for the job. ‘It was not realistic, then we would move on to another potential target’, he said of her suggestions.
Bond girl Eva Green, pictured in Casino Royale with Daniel Craig, is at the High Court in a legal battle over the demise of a £4 million film project
Former Bond girl Eva Green (pictured) ranted that ‘my name is Cruella’, called a movie producer a ‘f****** moron’ and labelled the financial backers of her film ‘a***holes’ before the £4 million project fell apart, court documents reveal
The court heard that Kathy Bates and Tim Robbins and Game of Thrones star Ed Skrein were attached to the project. But Ms Green’s filming schedule for TV series The Luminaries ended up losing them funding from Sky, it was said.
The High Court also heard she signed on to A Patriot with Helen Hunt and Charles Dance in 2019, but they had both dropped out by the time of its collapse in autumn of that year.
The project was revived in 2019 but then shut down in October 2019. Ms Green claims she is owed $1million.
The actress is being ‘painted as a diva’ by a production company she is suing over a failed sci-fi film, her lawyers told the High Court yesterday.
Production company White Lantern Film claim she made ‘excessive creative and financial demands’ and had expectations that were ‘incompatible’ with the budget of the £4million project, the High Court was told.
The Casino Royale star, 42, had been due to star in sci-fi film A Patriot before production was shut down in October 2019.
She is suing production company White Lantern Films and a second defendant, SMC Specialty Finance LLC, claiming she is entitled to her million-dollar (approximately £810,000) fee for the movie, despite its cancellation.
Ms Green, who was also executive producer on the project, claims she is owed the money under a so-called ‘pay or play’ provision which guarantees the individual payment regardless of whether or not the work is completed.
White Lantern Films is defending the case and bringing a counterclaim against the French actress, alleging she repeatedly made ‘unreasonable demands’ and undermined the film’s production.
Producers Terry Bird (left) and Jake Seal were mentioned in the texts and slated by Ms Green
Ms Green played foreign liaison agent Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale
A scene from the iconic 2006 film featuring the actress with Daniel Craig
Lawyers for the company and its lender SMC Speciality Finance claim she expressed ‘sheer hostility’ in messages referring to members of the production, and conspired with the director and producer to secure the film rights and make a different film.
On the first day of a trial in London on Thursday, Max Mallin KC, for White Lantern Films, accepted Ms Green had a commitment to making a film but one ‘she wanted to make’.
He said she had ‘not only not a commitment, but a vitriolic aversion to making a film that White Lantern could and was going to make’.
‘We have got a critical split between the expectation of Eva Green and the film she wanted to make and what the budget could afford,’ the barrister said.
Mr Mallin said that Ms Green, who was not present at court on Thursday, had ‘animosity’ towards a vision for the film held by one of the film’s executive producers, Jake Seal.
In written arguments, the lawyer said the ‘adequately resourced’ film ‘could and would have been produced had the lead actor and essential element not pulled out’.
‘Ms Green’s expectations for the film were incompatible with its budget: it was an independent film in contrast to the large-budget studio films to which Ms Green was then accustomed,’ Mr Mallin said.
Ms Green is understood to risk facing a legal bill of more than £4 million if she loses the case
Sparks flew during the summer of 2019 after the film’s producers haggled over the rates of pay to meet the demands of Ms Green’s preferred team
Ms Green pictured in London in June 2021 during filming for a mystery project
He added: ‘The clash between Ms Green’s expectations and reality was demonstrated continually by Ms Green’s failure to engage responsibly in pre-production and her repeatedly making unreasonable demands of White Lantern.’
Mr Mallin alleged that Ms Green had made a ‘fraudulent misrepresentation’ that she was ‘ready, willing and able’ to fulfil her contract.
He claimed a ‘scheme’ was devised between the actress, writer and director Dan Pringle and producer Adam Merrifield – allegedly described by the latter as ‘Operation Fake It!’ – to secure her fee and make a separate film without SMC involved.
In a message to Mr Pringle, Ms Green claimed her ‘soul will die’ if she was to make the film with Mr Seal at the Black Hangar production facility in Hampshire, Mr Mallin said.
Ms Green is due to give evidence on Monday next week, but did not attend yesterday’s hearing due to a scheduling conflict.
At the start of the eight-day trial on Thursday, Ms Green’s barrister Edmund Cullen KC told the court Ms Green wanted to get the film made but ‘the financial plan was never going to work’.
He added: ‘This was, for her, a passion project. The theme of the film concerns an issue of great concern to her, namely the climate catastrophe.
‘She loved the script and wanted the film to be made, she bent over backwards to get this done.’
In their written defence, lawyers for White Lantern Films said Ms Green had expressed ‘a lack of confidence and dissatisfaction’ with some of the production crew.
Max Mallin KC, for White Lantern, claimed she was ‘increasingly reluctant to be involved in the production’, in breach of contract.
In text messages used in White Lantern’s claim, Ms Green is said to refer to one of the film’s executive producers, Jake Seal, as ‘evil’, a ‘devious sociopath’ and ‘a liar and a mad man’.
‘I cannot believe that Moron Jake… pure vomit,’ read another message said to be from Ms Green sent in August 2019.
She is also said to have called production manager Terry Bird ‘a f****** moron’ and described Mr Seal and Mr Bird as ‘total a***holes’.
Mr Justice Michael Green is expected to give his decision at a later date. The trial continues.
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