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John Singleton Sues Paramount for $20 Million Over ‘Hustle and Flow’ Deal

Filmmaker John Singleton sued Paramount on Wednesday claiming the studio reneged on a promise to back two films as part of a 2005 deal for the breakout hit Hustle and Flow.
In the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court ,

Singleton, who produced the Craig Brewer-directed drama, says he entertained multiple distribution offers for the film after it premiered to raves at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.

He signed a $9 million deal with Paramount, he claims, because the studio promised to “put” two additional features as long as their budgets didn’t exceed $3.5 million each and his producing fee wasn’t higher than 7.5 percent. (Singleton also granted the studio rights to Brewer’s Black Snake Moan.)  

Hustle and Flow made $22 million worldwide and won an Oscar for best song (Moan made about $10 million) but Singleton says Par later added backed out of the “put” agreement by adding conditions that made it impossible to get the movies made.

Singleton, whose last film was the Taylor Lautner actioner Abduction, and his Crunk Pictures are seeking at least $20 million from Paramount and its MTV Films division.
A Paramount spokesman says:
“Paramount was hoping that John Singleton would produce two more pictures before his agreement with our studio ended in 2010, but that did not happen. Instead, he went on to direct Abduction for Lionsgate. Paramount fulfilled all of its obligations and his claims have absolutely no merit.”
The suit, filed by Marty Singer and Michael Holtz at Lavely & Singer, alleges causes of action for fraud, rescission, unjust enrichment and breach of contract.


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