A judge said Thursday that lawyer for director John Singleton will have to shore up his complaint against Paramount Pictures and MTV Films concerning the distribution of two of his films if he wants it to proceed with all its current claims.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Amy Hogue said there were insufficient details in Singleton’s recently amended complaint to support his allegations for promissory fraud and rescission of the contract for promissory fraud.
“There has to be evidence that there was no contemporaneous intention to perform,” Hogue told Singleton’s lawyer, Michael Holtz. “Maybe you don’t have those facts.”
Hogue, denying a defense motion to dismiss both claims, gave Holtz five days to amend the complaint.
Singleton alleges in the complaint filed last Oct. 19 that the companies reneged on a promise to finance and distribute two of his films in exchange for distribution rights to “Hustle & Flow” and “Black Snake Moan.” He says he sold them the rights to “Hustle & Flow” for a reduced $9 million fee in exchange for their promise to give the go-ahead to two subsequent features budgeted at or under $3.5 million.
Holtz said after the hearing that his client wants to rescind the contract so that he can obtain rights to it as well as the profits, which the attorneys said would total far more than the $9 million the director received from the studios.
“Otherwise we wouldn’t be here,” Holtz said.
“Hustle & Flow,” starring Terrence Howard and Ludacris, drew significant interest during the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”
Singleton also is alleging breach of contract.