Kevin costner continues his compatriot Dance with the wolves and The bodyguard producer in a dispute over a company the Oscar winner started nearly three decades ago that was seeking to shut down.
The debate over Good Ones Productions, which Costner started in 1992, involves his longtime business partner Jim Wilson and his failure to relinquish his rights to the company Costner sought to shut down last year. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), the actor claims Wilson refused to give up his stake in Good Ones.
The couple met in 1983, when Costner landed his first leading role in a movie, the Wilson-directed film. The Knights of Stacey. According to the costume, Costner says “he never forgot the opportunity Wilson gave him.” When Costner was ready for his first directorial job after becoming a star with films such as Silverado and Durham Bull, he proposed to make Wilson a producer on this project. Costner did not get the director job but negotiated associate producer credit for Wilson, and the two began a long partnership when Costner brought Wilson on board as a producer in the 1990s. Dancing with the wolves, which was commercially successful and won multiple Oscars, including Best Picture, shared by Costner and Wilson.
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According to the lawsuit, Costner hired Wilson as executive vice president of its Tig productions, which had an early deal with Warner Bros., but Wilson “was not a key or otherwise important part of the WB deal.” The lawsuit claims Wilson “showed no interest” in a potentially lucrative shared rights provision of the agreement whereby Tig “could ultimately own and control the international rights to feature films produced by Costner and Tig, which funded Good Ones projects through loans. “Rather than take advantage of the WB deal and full access to Costner,” the lawsuit says, “Wilson ignored Tig’s opportunities and focused primarily on his career as a director. “
For the next quarter century and more, the lawsuit claims that “Wilson broke company formalities, never provided funding to the GOP [Good Ones], never appointed officers (after the initial appointment of officers during the formation of the GOP, never materially developed GOP projects and was not involved in major GOP decisions.
Last summer, after the couple had not done business together for 12 years, Costner’s reps advised him to “end GOP business and have Tig directly hold title to all projects. development, ”says the suit. Because “Wilson was no longer an officer of Tig, it made no sense for Wilson to hold naked legal GOP shares. As a result, a simple agreement was drafted in July 2020 to transfer the stock from Wilson to Costner. “
Wilson, however, refused to sign the deal, according to the lawsuit.
Costner and Tig also name Zeke Lopez, who was on the actor’s business team before becoming Wilson’s personal lawyer, as the accused.
The plaintiffs are asking for at least $ 15 million in damages, as well as punitive damages and a constructive trust over all of Good Ones’ assets and for Costner to be found the sole owner of Good Ones. Las Vegas attorney Howard Kaplan is representing Costner and Tig in the lawsuit, which is seeking a jury trial.