The film, on the Second World War, should be entitled ‘Operation: Fortitude’
Martin Scorsese and his production company, Sikelia Productions, are being sued for allegedly reneging on a million-dollar deal to executive produce a World War II film. UK-based production company Op-Fortitude, set up to make the film, claims Scorsese received an upfront payment of $500,000 to personally assemble an all-star cast for the film to be titled ‘Operation: Fortitude’, and then refused to return the money after not working for over a year. The film was written and will be produced by Simon Afram. To reveal the news is the site The Hollywood Reporter.
“Mr. Scorsese has done nothing to further the production of the film, and has been completely insensitive to Op-Fortitude’s repeated attempts to contact him and ensure the performance of its obligations,” reads the complaint filed Monday in the Superior Court of Los Angeles reported by the site. The company and LBI Entertainment, which represented Scorsese and Sikelia, reached an agreement in 2021 for the director to handle casting, production and post-production. The production company, “was assured that a meeting with Scorsese would be arranged and that it would ‘immediately personally contact potential directors and A-list cast members,'” the lawsuit says. was directly involved in the film, and not his managers, since the LBI and Op-Fortitude had already entered into a separate agreement in 2020 for other services related to the film.
The complaint alleges that, after months with no communication or indication that Scorsese intended to produce the film, a representative of Op-Fortitude met with LBI manager Charles Pacheco, who assured him that the deal could be canceled and the upfront payment of $500,000 returned if there was no movement on the project by the end of the year. “Although more than fifteen months have passed since the signing of the Agreement, Mr. Scorsese has not performed any work that falls under any of the three categories of services contemplated by the Agreement: casting, production and post-production,” writes John Fowler, a Op-Fortitude’s attorney, in the complaint. “He Nor did he do any other work on the project.”