Date: 25th February 2001
The French courts are threatening to ban the release of director LUC BESSON's new movie.
The FIFTH ELEMENT man, who has produced his latest effort YAMAKASI, is in trouble with the courts after sacking the movie's director JULIEN SERI and screen-writer PHILIPPE LYON just before the end of filming. MAITRE GEORGES KIEJMAN, Besson's lawyer, has claimed that the decision to fire Seri and to replace him with ARIEL ZEITOUN, was "to avoid the film to be delayed" and "to meet the budget".
However, the courts are insisting they be credited and compensated for their work on the film. Seri and Lyon's lawyer, MAITRE GEORGES SOUCHON, explains, "My clients want their rights as screen writers respected. They want to come to an agreement regarding the end of the film, and they want a financial compensation." Seri is asking for $2.7 million (£1.8 million) compensation, with Lyon requesting $2.1 million (£1.4 million). The French courts have asked the two parties to reach a "friendly" agreement - but if such an compromise is not reached then the planned release date the 4th of April (01) in Besson's native France will be cancelled. (VH/AFP/CPT)