Eva Green wins multi-million pound legal battle against bosses who accused her of sabotaging sci-fi film

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Eva Green has won her High Court battle with a production company over the collapse of an abandoned sci-fi film.

The Casino Royale star was due to play the lead role in dystopian thriller A Patriot, but the production collapsed in October 2019.

Green sued the production company behind the project after the film was abandoned, claiming she is entitled to her $1m (£810,000) fee under the terms of their agreement.

White Lantern Film and lender SMC Speciality Finance brought a counterclaim against the actor, alleging she undermined the independent film’s production and renounced the contract.

On Friday (28 April) morning, Justice Michael Green ruled in Green’s favour, saying she was entitled to the fee, and dismissed the counter-claim.

“In particular, I find that Ms Green did not renounce her obligations under the artist agreement; nor did she commit any repudiatory breaches of it,” the judge said.

Green’s lawyer Edmund Cullen KC told the court earlier this year that the actor had been subjected to a “character assassination”, adding it was “based on some of the cheapest and nastiest sorts of stereotypes around”.

The court heard that the actor described potential crew members as “s***ty peasants”, the production as a “B-s***ty-movie” and executive producer Jake Seal as “pure vomit”.

In the further messages, Green is also said to have described Seal as a “sociopath” and “a real mad dictator who wants to prove he is right so he could be ready for anything”.

Ruling was announced on Friday morning (Getty Images for Apple)
Ruling was announced on Friday morning (Getty Images for Apple)

Green, who gave oral evidence at the High Court in London over two days in January, said it was “humiliating” to have her messages used in court. During two days of cross examination, she told the judge that she had a “very direct way of saying things”.

The 42-year-old also said she was not called to the studio for rehearsals or stunt training, describing it as “so strange” and later “absurd with a capital A”.

“If I had been called to set, I would have done this film even though it would have been a disaster,” she claimed. Green also later denied undermining the production, telling the court: “I didn’t have to do anything to make the film fail… they made it fail on their own with their incompetence.”

White Lantern’s lawyer Max Mallin KC said Green had shown a “categorical and unequivocal refusal to perform”. The production company also claimed that she made “excessive creative and financial demands” and had expectations that were “incompatible” with the film’s low budget.

Mallin said it was not up to Green whether or not she was called to set, adding: “What is within her control is whether she responds to that call or not and, in my submission, she is making quite clear that she was not.”

He added that she “was so concerned about what would happen if she were expressly called upon to perform” that she had suggested her agent “invent a story about Ms Green being hospitalised”.

Additional reporting by Press Association