The Verdict is In

Variety reports today that the jury has delivered their verdict in the Clive Cussler SAHARA case. They’ve awarded the author $5 million in damages and ruled that the producers have to pay him $8.5 million for the rights to the second book that they’d originally licensed to film…but that now won’t ever be shot. The jury decided that Cussler is owed the film rights back because, under the terms of his contract,  principal
photography on SAHARA did not start on time.

On the other hand, the jury also determined that Cussler falsely and intentionally miss-represented the sales figures of his books, which means the Judge could throw out the jury’s award for the additional fee for the second book. The Judge will schedule a hearing to deal with that issue.

Naturally, both sides are claiming victory.

"We’re $3.5 million ahead and Clive got his rights back," said
veteran showbiz litigator Bert Fields, who represented Cussler. Fields
added that because of the jury’s finding that Cussler intentionally
misrepresented book sales, he would not rule out an appeal.

maintained that Crusader was vindicated because of the findings of
Cussler’s intentional misconduct and the fact that the only damages
definitely awarded at this point were the $5 million to Crusader.

consider it a great victory," Putnam said. He added that the disparity
between the findings of misrepresentation and the damages would make
him consider an appeal, particularly if the court finds Cussler is owed
for the second book.

Cussler, 75, said he was pleased with the verdict but wasn’t ready to gamble again on turning one of his many books into a film.

"There won’t be another Clive Cussler film, at least not during my lifetime," he said.

1 thought on “The Verdict is In”

  1. So, y’know, Lee — and thanks for the Spenser script that reminded me you were here; I blogged that — this seems like an excellent hook on which to hang a question for you; it’s one of my hobby horses.
    Submitted for your approval: when Hollywood makes a filmed ‘adaptation’ of a popular novel by a name author, which has little to do with that novel…
    isn’t that fraud?
    I mean: they bought the author’s and novel’s names for ridiculous amounts of money *precisely because* they wanted to attract the people who are fans of that author and that book…
    and then they give them something that — in some cases — is so far off it’s laughable.
    Parker’s pretty easygoing about it, but hell; *he* gets the money. I spend it.
    Case in point: the Tom Clancy movie where the bad guy breaks Dan Murray’s neck. We’re going to *need* Dan Murray later, or we have to substantially rewrite *other* stories.
    So, if they’re convincing me to drop my $8 plus munchie money by telling me it’s something it’s not… why isn’t that criminal fraud with malice aforethought?
    Just sayin’
    (And understand: I *get* that you can’t film a 300 page novel. But go watch Andromeda Strain with a copy of the book in your lap; this *can* be accomplished. They just don’t bother.)


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