Actor Will Smith’s movie about the life of the father of Serena Williams and Venus Williams has been hit with a writ over an alleged breach of contract.
The plaintiffs claim in the suit they bought the rights from Richard Williams’ former business partner Chavoita Lesane for $10,000 three years ago.
The complaint details that Mr Williams allegedly gave limited power of attorney to the plaintiffs for “purposes of dealing with film and media rights.”
It is claimed the elder Williams also allegedly sold the rights to his life to filmmakers for $1 million.
The film has been beset with difficulties, a shifting casts of characters and script re-writes, and the seven clam complaint states that the defendants, including him maker Warner Bros, used material without offering any compensation.
“The plaintiffs reasonably expected to be compensated for such use of any of their ideas or materials, and Defendant Warner Bros. voluntarily accepted Plaintiffs’ offer and disclosures, knowing the conditions on which they were made, i.e., that any use of any of Plaintiff’s ideas or materials in any motion picture, television program, merchandising program, or otherwise, whether by Defendant Warner Bros. or any of its affiliates, carried with an obligation to, inter alin, compensate and credit Plaintiffs for such use,” the law suit alleges.
Warner Bros and Overbrook Entertainment did not respond to media requests for clarification and the movie is still expected to be released ‘sometime’ next year.