Another Lawsuit Filed Against Funny Man Myers

Published July 9th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Charging Myers as "selfish, egomaniacal and irresponsible," Imagine Entertainment joined Universal Pictures Thursday by filing its own lawsuit against the Austin Powers star, after he walked away from production on his much-anticipated comedy, Dieter, reported ABCNEWS online. 

Under the Imagine-Universal partnership, Universal finances and distributes a film produced by Imagine, and Imagine then receives a percentage of the gross receipts.  

The breach-of-contract suit, filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Imagine and its heads, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard seeks more than $30 million and punitive damages.  

The suit comes just a month after Universal first sued Myers for ditching the film, which was based on Myers' Saturday Night Live Euro-skit "Sprockets," featuring an avant-garde German talk-show host and his very touchable pet monkey. Universal planned to make the film its major summer release for 2001, said ABCNEWS. 

In its lawsuit, Imagine claims that Myers had agreed to make the film in the beginning, but surprised the company by demanding a larger fee since “he felt he had become a much bigger star.” Then, without warning, the suit alleges that Myers called a meeting with Grazer and Universal to “arbitrarily” announce that he would “not perform at all.” 

Meanwhile, Universal states that it had already signed on various actors for the movie including Will Ferril and David Hasselhof (Baywatch), who was going to play himself. 

However, according to Imagine, this is not the first time Myers reneges on a contract. 

In its lawsuit, Imagine states that Myers "has followed a pattern and practice of breaking his promises, betraying the trust of others and causing serious damages to those with whom he deals through selfish, egomaniacal and irresponsible conduct.  

"He claimed he had not approved the screenplay," the suit states. "Who wrote the screenplay? Myers."  

The suit comes at a seemingly odd time, seeing that Myers' attorneys were reportedly in settlement talks with Universal. Even director Steven Spielberg recently jumped in to help the conflicting parties to come to a compromise. Spielberg's DreamWorks is releasing the computer-animated film Shrek next year featuring Myers' voice, and the filmmaker hoped to mediate a deal between the warring factions, reported ABCNEWS online.  

On the other hand, the Hollywood Reporter said that talks were going nowhere quickly, and after waiting it out, Imagine finally decided to file suit.  

As for Myers’ side of the story, the comedians lawyer, Martin Singer, called Imagine's claims "pure fiction," saying its lawyers heard Myers would be filing his own lawsuit against Imagine and Universal this week, and wanted to beat him to the punch.  

Myers has referred any comment on the Imagine suit to his lawyer. But in a statement following Universal's suit, Myers lashed out against Universal and Imagine, saying he would not "accept $20 million and cheat moviegoers who pay their hard-earned money to see my work by making a movie with an unacceptable script"—albawaba.com.  

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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