Voltage Pictures has legally slammed Mel Gibson, director Farhad Safinia and his producer partner Bruce Davey over a yet to be released film based on the the birth of the worldwide famous Oxford English Dictionary. It all started in July, when Gibson claimed that Voltage Pictures had put their project in a state of danger when it did not honour their co-production deal, and allegedly also got involved in other fraudulent matters.
A report on Hollywood Reporter said, that in the complaint they have described the assignment as a ‘labour of love’. Mel and Bruce have been dedicated towards the making of this project for nearly two years.Voltage Pictures did not provide the budget and thereby failed to live up to the expectations of Mel Gibson. The report further mentioned that Farhad Safinia too had legally slammed Voltage Pictures in September after it responded to Gibson’s lawsuit stating,”Mr. Gibson and the film’s director consistently failed to live up to their professional and contractual responsibilities to Voltage.”Farhad also said that Voltage’s “unauthorized cut of the film infringes on the copyright in his screenplay.”
Voltage Pictures too had responded to the matter stating that Farhad’s case was seeking an opportunity “to improperly coerce the financiers of the Picture to shoot additional scenes in Oxford, England, at a cost of approximately $2.5 million.” Now, in a fresh complaint filed by Voltage in Callifornia federal court, the company has slammed Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey and Farhad Safinia of “unlawfully hijack/control of and/or interfere with [its] ability to exploit the rights to distribute the motion picture.”
They demand a declaration that the copyright, which the director is claiming, is invalid and thereby his actions were fraud upon the US Copyright Office. He reportedly failed to observe his directing agreement when he wrongfully omitted various shoots and demanded more shooting time in Oxford when the film was already crossing the budget. “He cannot bring a copyright infringement claim based on a script that he prepared as a work-for-hire and does not own,” attorney Jeremiah Reynolds said.
Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey had persuaded Farhad to break ties with the agreement and register a script of his own, which according to the claims made by Voltage was a “cast a cloud on copyright ownership making it virtually impossible” to sell the right to distribute the film.” Hence Voltage Pictures has slammed the director for breach of contract, where Mel Gibson and Bruce Davey had played a part in intentionally interferring with the contractual relationship.