The fraud lawsuit stems from a secret fight over 'The Expendables' authorship which was settled in arbitration.
"The Expendables" producers file lawsuit against David Callaham. Nu Image, Millennium Films and Alta Vista Productions accuse the scribe of "subterfuge" by withholding key evidence before the WGA tribunal during their secret screenwriting credit arbitration four years ago.
The said evidence is Callaham's emails that supposedly revealed his intention to distance himself from the movie. In one of the emails, he reportedly wrote that "The Expendables" script "is F***ING AWFUL... I am ASTOUNDED at how bad this is. I want you to know that it's nothing like what I wrote."
Callaham allegedly also wrote to his two other colleagues, "Put it this way: the idea and very loose structure [of The Expendables] is mine. Everything else...I plead the fifth. Or, to put it another way, if I get sole credit like I am asking for...it would be A MIRACLE."
Back in 2002, Callaham wrote a script titled "Barrow" for Warner Bros. under "Blind Commitment Agreement" and got paid $250,000. When Sylvester Stallone later developed "The Expendables", he "reviewed Callaham's script" and "based part of the story for 'The Expendables' on 'Barrow'."
The actor believed Callaham should get a shared "Story By" credit, but the writer wanted a sole "Written By" credit. The fight led to an arbitration that ended up with Callaham getting a sole "Story By" credit and first position in a "Screenplay By" credit ahead of Stallone.
Callaham also received a "writing credit bonus" of $102,250, and claimed $175,000 as a "sequel payment" for "The Expendables 2". The writer is additionally seeking declaratory relief on future sequels.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the producers are suing Callaham for fraud, unjust enrichment and equitable indemnity and seeking the return of money. Plus, the plaintiffs are seeking declaratory relief including that Stallone be given sole screenplay credit for "The Expendables" and wants Callaham to not be entitled to money for sequels. On top of that, they say the WGA should discipline Callaham by its own rules.