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Martin Scorcese sued for procrastinating on a movie for 22 years

Aug 23, 2012

Today in Hollywood news: rich people suing other rich people for millions for procrastinating about making movies.

Apparently Martin Scorcese signed a contract in 1990 with production company Cecchi Gori, the company behind movies like “Seven” and “A Bronx Tale,” to adapt the 1980 Shusaku Endo novel “Silence” as his next movie after “Kundun” was released.

Scorcese then decided he wanted to make “The Departed” instead. And then he wanted to make “Shutter Island.” And then “Hugo.” “Silence” he never exactly got around to.

According to the terms of their contract, Scorcese was personally forced to pay Cecchi Gori somewhere between $1 million and $1.5 million per movie as a penalty fee for each film he decided to make before “Silence,” plus 20 percent of his personal back-end take from those movies. According to the lawsuit, which you can read at Deadline, he paid up for “The Departed” and “Shutter Island,” but he blew off the fees for “Hugo.” Cecchi Gori, who claims to have invested $750,000 developing “Silence” and isn’t satisfied with the few million they’ve received so far—they want their “Hugo” money.

What’s more, Scorcese is now planning to make “The Wolf of Wall Street” with Leonardo DiCaprio. It looks like Scorcese just doesn’t intend to make “Silence” at all, and that Cecchi Gori is planning to collect 20% of his cash in perpetuity for it.

Which is why your mom was right—don’t procrastinate, it’ll just cause you problems down the line.

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