Actors suing film companies for alleged shortchanging on profits: It’s all the rage! On Thursday, Scarlett Johansson shocked the industry by suing one of the largest mega-corporations in the world, Disney, for simultaneously releasing Black Widow in theaters and on Disney+ (for PVOD, but still). Now Gerard Butler is doing something similar-but-different, for the 2013 franchise-started Olympus Has Fallen.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Scottish actor filed a fraud claim against Nu Image, Millennium Media and Padre Nuestro Productions, alleging that they owe him at least $10 million more than they paid him. Butler claims he hasn’t seen a dime in net profits from the film, which grossed around $170 million worldwide and yielded two sequels, both of which starred him.
The claim also alleges that the companies launched a “comprehensive, premeditated scheme” to hide profits and deprive Butler of what he’s owed from them.
Olympus Has Fallen stars Butler as a Secret Service Agent who helps foil an attempted coup of the White House — a plot that also fueled the same year’s White House Down, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx. Olympus proved the bigger hit.
The suit was filed the day after Johansson’s, which accused Disney of not renegotiating their contract with her before they decided her long-awaited MCU solo movie would drop on their streamer. That film went on to a pandemic record opening weekend but has since underperformed, clocking in at one of the franchise’s lowest grossers. As Hollywood contracts are thrown into further disarray amidst a rapidly changing industry, expect more of the same — or, in the case of Butler, to come for what they’re allegedly owed.