Richard Williams and Will Smith have found themselves at the centre of a lawsuit over the currently in-production biopic “King Richard”.
Williams, the father and coach of tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams, is reportedly being sued, along with Warner Bros. Entertainment and Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment, by TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multi-Media, TMZ stated.
Smith is playing Williams in the upcoming flick, which has been put on hold like many other movies due to the novel coronavirus crisis.
TW3 and Power Move claimed they were given the rights to Williams’ story after working out a deal with his son, Chavoita Lesane, to “buy his life and memoir rights for $10,000.”
The documents reportedly stated the companies bought the rights to Williams’ 2014 book Black and White: The Way I See It and life story back in 2017, “an agreement they say barred anyone else from hitching a ride on his gravy train,” TMZ claimed.
Williams allegedly sold his rights to Warner Bros. for the movie for at least $1 million.
The companies are now said to want an injunction requiring Warner Bros. to put all the profits from the film “into a trust for their benefit,” along with other damages.
“This case presents an unfortunate and tawdry situation: the cold and calculating misappropriation and interference with Plaintiffs’ intellectual property,” the seven claim complaint from TW3 Entertainment and Power Move Multi Media filed in L.A. Superior Court on Tuesday stated, Deadline reported. “Plaintiffs’ good faith and contractually protected efforts to bring an amazing story into visual art form were met with Defendants’ greed and disregard for Plaintiff’s existing rights.”
“King Richard” is scheduled to be released in November 2021.
ET Canada has contacted Smith’s rep, Power Move Multi-Media and TW3 Entertainment for comment.