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Things didn't exactly go too well for Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For when it was released in theaters back in August. The movie was largely dumped on by critics (a big contrast compared to the reception of the first movie back in 2005) and then it completely underwhelmed at the box office (another big contrast). And as if that situation wasn't bad enough, now even more is going wrong behind the scenes.
Robert Rodriguez and his affiliate companies have filed a lawsuit against the financiers of both Sin City 2 and Machete Kills, claiming that he never received a payment of $7.7 million that was promised to him. The lawsuit has been filed specifically against Sergei Bespalov, Marina Bespalov, Maddartico, Vrelonovama, Aldamisa Entertainment and SC2 Productions, alleging both breach of contract and fraud. Variety notes that part of the claim says that the filmmaker was misled when it came to the amount of money and resources the financiers could provide, and that he actually paid Machete Kills screenwriter Kyle Ward out of his own funds. The suit says:
"In order to induce Plaintiffs to enter into agreements with various of the Defendants relating to the Pictures, Defendants, including, specifically, Sergei Bespalov, falsely assured and represented to Plaintiffs that Defendants had more than sufficient financial resources and cash flow – not only from and related to the Pictures, but also from other projects – to honor all of their financial obligations to Plaintiffs."
At this time it is not clear what damages Rodriguez will be seeking, but the trade notes that a jury trial has been requested.
Rodriguez is well known for being able to budgets very low on his projects, but both Sin City: A Dame To Kill For and Machete Kills were both considered big disappointments. Opening in eight place with a take of only $6 million, Sin City 2 has only made $38 million worldwide to date, having cost a reported $65 million to make. The Machete sequel did even worse, making just $15 million worldwide when released in October of last year (though that movie only had a $20 million budget). Those are numbers that I'm sure the financiers aren't too happy about, but that doesn't mean Robert Rodriguez doesn't deserve to get paid for his time and work on the projects.
In recent months, Rodriguez has been busy in the world of television, specifically working on shows for his El Rey Network like From Dusk Till Dawn and Matador. It's unclear what his future in features is, though he has been promising Machete Kills Again... In Space. Whether or not that movie will ever happen - especially because of this new lawsuit - is unknown, but head over to Page Two to watch a trailer!