Martin Scorsese has been sued for breach of written contract, intentional misrepresentation, and negligent misrepresentation by the production company behind Silence, a film project that Scorsese allegedly promised to direct and co-produce over two decades ago.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by EW, Cecchi Gori Pictures, a production company, claims they entered into an agreement with Scorsese and his production company, Sikelia Productions Inc., in 1990 to direct Silence, based on a Japanese novel, as his next feature-length movie after Kundun (1997). The Cecchi Gori Parties claim they’ve invested over $750,000 in the project.
“In 2004, Scorsese and Sikeila entered into further agreements to postpose Silence so that Scorsese could direct The Departed (2006), Shutter Island (2010), and Hugo (2011) before co-producing and directing Silence,” the court papers allege. “In those agreements, Scorsese/Sikelia agreed to pay substantial compensation and other valuable benefits, for the right to direct these three other films prior to Silence.” They also allege that Scorsese/Sikeila’s contractual obligations remain unfulfilled as to the film Hugo.
Additionally, in recent weeks press reports stated that Scorsese’s next film will be Wolf of Wall Street. Representatives of Cecchi Gori requested that Scorsese/Sikelia “confirm Scorsese’s intentions regarding which project he’ll be pursuing first; [and] agree that either Silence will be Scorsese’s next project, or alternatively, that Cecchi Gori Parties will receive the same benefits for Wolf of Wall Street that they are contractually entitled to receive on Hugo.”
The lawsuit alleges that Scorsese/Sikelia failed to respond to these demands, so legal action is now being taken.
EW has reached out to Scorsese’s rep for comment.