Eva Green to give evidence in High Court battle over collapse of film project


ctress Eva Green arrived at the High Court on Monday for a showdown with producers over a doomed sci-fi film project, amid claims she had wrecked the production with diva behaviour and “would rather eat tumours” than make the movie.

The Hollywood star is at loggerheads with the financiers of dystopian thriller A Patriot, which collapsed in 2019 after a troubled period of pre-production.

Green, the star of Bond film Casino Royale, is suing the production company for payment of her fee but faces accusations she deliberately wrecked the shoot once it became clear the budget was lower than expected and production values would be compromised.

However the actress says she upheld her end of the deal and had been ready for filming, but the project was undermined by financiers “desperate” to recoup their initial investment.

Green, 42, dressed in black with a green jacket and sunglasses, was surrounded by waiting photographers as she arrived at the Rolls Building of the High Court on Mondau morning.

Eva Green arriving at the High Court

/ PA

She is expected to face questions over her foul-mouthed messages about executive producer Jake Seal, who she dubbed “evil”, and Terry Bird, who she is alleged to have called a “f***ing moron”, as well as allegedly sending messages referring to potential crew members as “Shitty peasants”.

Green, the star of films including Dumbo and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, is accused of pretending to be keen for the movie to be made, in an alleged plot called “Operation Fake It!”, while planning to pull out.

On Monday morning, the film’s writer and director Dan Pringle was asked about a message he sent when financing of the film was potentially being restructured, and would have given “complete control” to Mr Seal.

He said Green, producer Adam Merrifield, and himself were deciding if they “wish to proceed with the new structure”, adding: “As of right now, obviously all three of us would rather eat tumours”.

Mr Pringle said Green “felt strongly” the restructure “was not a good idea” and she wanted to hand back her fee in return for control of the script, which they could produce elsewhere.

Of the words he used, he said: “I regret saying that, as I shouldn’t be speaking on behalf of Adam and Eva.”

He said the production was “in a state of disarray” at that time, with different options for the future of the film being looked at.

On Friday, Mr Pringle said Green’s $1 million fee had hampered production as they struggled with a burdensome loan and interest payments, but she had offered cost-cutting suggestions such as not having a trailer and staying in local hotels.

He also told the court she made “unrealistic” and “crazy” suggestions about crew that could be hired, including Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan’s director of photography.

“I didn’t know her well enough to know how serious she was being with some of her suggestions”, he said, referring to them as “Hail Marys”.

The film, which had actors Helen Hunt and Charles Dance attached as co-stars, collapsed in late 2019. Green is suing for the payment of her fee, while production company White Lantern Film (Britannica) Limited and financiers SMC Specialty Finance LLC are counterclaiming for breach of contract.

The trial continues.

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