California Adrien Brody sues over release of thriller film

By Anthony McCartney

AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Adrien Brody has sued the makers of a thriller film for more than $2 million, claiming he hasn't been fully paid for the project and the movie is being released in the United States without his permission.

The Academy Award-winning actor sued the makers of "Giallo" in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday, but an emergency petition to stop the film's DVD release was denied.

Sales of the thriller set in Turin, Italy, began Tuesday, although an attorney for the filmmakers said it has been available for rent since early September. "Giallo" was shot in 2008.

A judge ruled Brody can still seek an injunction against the film's sale, but must first notify the filmmakers.

Brody claims he is still owed $640,000 for starring in the film and that its release is likely to cost him at least $2 million in damages.

In a lawsuit and a sworn declaration, the actor said the film's producers lied to him about financing and vastly overstated how much the film's Italian distribution rights were worth.

The filings said Brody's contract allows him to withhold his likeness from the film until he is paid, but the filmmakers have ignored his demands.

"We respectfully dispute his allegations," said A. Raymond Hamrick III, an attorney for defendants Hannibal Pictures and U.K.-based Giallo Productions Ltd.

Hamrick said the filmmakers have been trying to work out a deal with Brody for several months, but the allegations in his lawsuit are not consistent with his contract.

Martin Barab, who is also representing the film companies, said Brody had been paid nearly $1 million for his role.

"Hannibal and Giallo have acted with the utmost integrity," Hamrick said.

The lawsuit was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Brody, 37, won an Oscar in 2003 for his role in "The Pianist."

Published: Thu, Oct 21, 2010