Neal H. Moritz, producer of the Fast & Furious franchise, has filed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures, accusing the studio of breach of contract over the upcoming Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham spinoff Hobbs and Shaw.
“In an extraordinary show of bad faith, and just a few days before filming was set to begin on Hobbs and Shaw, Universal took the position that Moritz either had to amend his oral producer deal to accept substantially inferior financial terms, or be cut out of the Picture altogether,” reads the complaint (via Deadline). Remarkably, despite Moritz having complete Pay-or-Play protection on all of his last several deals on the FF Franchise and having relied on Universal’s oral promises, Universal also took the extraordinary position that it was free to exploit Moritz’s ideas for Hobbs and Shaw, and his work product over an approximately year-and-a-half period, without honoring its oral producer agreement.”
In what is being described as “a classic example of Hollywood greed”, Moritz is seeking to be reinstated as the lead producer on Hobbs or Shaw, or be paid “tens of millions of dollars in damages in lost compensation”.
Moritz has served as producer on all seven of the Fast & Furious movies, which have collectively grossed over $5.13 billion at the global box office.
David Leitch (John Wick, Deadpool 2) is directing Hobbs and Shaw, which will see the return of Dwayne Johnson (Luke Hobbs), Jason Statham (Deckard Shaw) and Helen Mirren (Magdalene Shaw) alongside franchise newcomers Idris Elba (Luther), Vanessa Kirby (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), and Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan). It is set for release on August 2nd 2019.