Mel Gibson Sues Voltage Pictures for Breach of Contract, Fraud Over ‘The Professor and the Madman’

Suit claims producers “disregarded their contractual obligations”

Mel Gibson and his company Icon Productions is suing Voltage Pictures for breach of contract regarding their co-production agreement on the film “The Professor and the Madman.”

The suit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims Voltage Pictures committed breach of contract and promissory fraud when the company “disregarded their contractual obligations” by failing to provide a budget, shoot in the agreed upon locations and provide Gibson and Icon approval on the film’s final cut and pay fees owed.

Gibson and his producing partner Bruce Davey are asking the court for unspecified damages as well as the right to terminate the agreement and regain rights to the film.

Voltage CEO Nicholas Chartier is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

“Among other things, Defendants failed to provide Icon — much less get its approval of — a final budget for the Picture,” the complaint reads. “Despite a clear requirement to do so, Defendants failed to secure a completion bond, and as such there is no completion guarantor to break disputes between the parties on budget or schedule.”

“Moreover, notwithstanding that the Agreements specify the picture will be shot in part in Oxford, England, Defendants refused to allow critical scenes from the agreed upon screenplay to be shot there,” the suit continues.

The suit also claims Voltage prevented writer/director Farhad Safinia from completing a cut of the movie to be approved by Gibson and goes on to say that the company screened part of an unapproved version of the film to distributors at the Cannes Film Festival.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.