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.