"Scream" producer Cathy Konrad has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the Weinstein Co., claiming she's been booted from producing the fourth installment in the franchise, which was allegedly developed behind her back.
The complaint, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Konrad and her Cat Entertainment were responsible for the development of the "Scream" franchise (she's produced the first three) and is entitled to a first opportunity to produce any sequels on the same financial terms as "Scream 3" ($550,000 pay-or-play plus $100,000 bonuses for domestic boxoffice targets of $75 million, $100 million, $110 million and $125 million).
But she had to learn from media reports and other sources that TWC was planning to restart the horror series and release another installment next year -- without her involvement.
When she inquired, Konrad claims the Weinsteins based her ouster on the "false pretext" that her producing services were to be exclusive to the project, which she says was not a requirement on "Scream 3."
The lawsuit says TWC's pretext is "a scheme to force Plaintiffs to walk away from the 'Scream' franchise without compensation" in order to make the sequels cheaper and pay the wife of director Wes Craven instead of Konrad.
We've reached out to TWC for comment and will update with a response. UPDATE: TWC's lawyer Bert Fields tells us the lawsuit is a "sure loser."
"Let me say it very plainly. Ms Konrad's lawsuit is just plain baloney," he says. "It never should have been filed."
Fields says Konrad's deal did require her producing services to be exclusive to the "Scream" production. "The contract says she's supposed to be exclusive," Fields says. "If you ignore the contract, what she says makes sense. But that's why we have contracts."
The suit for breach of contract and declaratory relief was filed by Joe Taylor and Michael Weinstein at Liner Grode Stein in LA.