Beverly Hills Ninja 2 Lawsuit Sequel

The sequel to Beverly Hills Ninja may be headed for the cutting room floor.  Last year, Mitchell Klebanoff, who co-wrote the original screenplay, was supposed to direct the sequel.  He won a lawsuit against Korean investors who bought the rights from Sony.  The dispute’s arbitrator awarded Klebanoff $262,000 since the investors had not properly terminated him as director.

Now, Jay So, a producer who says he was contracted by Klebanoff and the Korean investors, claims he was not compensated either.  He says he was hired in 2007 as producer for an up-front fee of $100,000, a credit, and backend participation in the film.  So claims he began the pre-production process, negotiated deals, and secured the investor who contributed 100% of the funds for the film.  So claims he was never paid his promised $100,000.

The film stopped production in LA due to money issues, but resumed filming in Vancouver.  The film was never completed because of artistic disputes between the investors and Klebanoff.  Klebanoff was eventually fired, which lead to his claim for compensation.  So followed shortly after, alleging breach of contract and misrepresentation.  So is demanding both compensatory and punitive damages.

Is So entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages?  How much should he be paid even though the film was not completed?  Should securing a large investor entitle So to more money?

One comment

  1. Assuming that Klebanoff had the right to higher a producer, So, and contract on behalf of the Korean investors, or if the Korean investors directly contracted with So and So completed his part of the bargain he should be compensated. It is hard to say though since contract law is rather complex and we do not have the terms of the agreement. If anything So should be able to receive the $100,000 upfront fee as he did begin work and likely would have continued if funding had not run out. He would not be able to receive any back end compensation or royalties since the film was not complete. This is all assuming that the investors cannot prove that the failure of the film was do directly to So’s work. So would need to show that the investors were malicious and purposefully breached the contract in order to receive punitive damages.

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