Russian company files lawsuit against Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger
The filmmakers want to recover about 217 million rubles ($3.28 million) from the actors and the Chinese company.
The bankruptcy manager of the Russian Film Group (RFG) has demanded to recover 216.6 million rubles from the Chinese China Film Group, as well as from actors Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
As conceived by the plaintiffs, the lawsuit against the actors will help creditors of the bankrupt film company RFG, which made the film Viy, return their money, lawyer Kirill Belsky said as cited by RIA Novosti.
According to Belsky, the statement of the bankruptcy trustee is an eccentric step, but nonetheless it is not devoid of common sense and meets the interests of creditors. “The suit against world movie stars on the eve of the premiere of Viy-2 in Russia will definitely increase box office receipts, some of which will subsequently end up in the bankruptcy estate, and then with our clients, i.e. creditors,” the legal adviser said.
In the statement of a representative of the RFG bankruptcy, the trustee claimed that RFG received loans from Avtokomplekt and Apex Sales in the total amount of 216.6 million rubles for the production of Viy 3D. Despite the successful box office of the film, the RFG never paid its creditors.
According to the statement, a sequel of Viy is about to be released. Viy 2: Journey to China was jointly created by the Chinese China Film Group and the Russian Film Group Corporation, which the manager calls a “clone” of the RFG.
It is also indicated that the RFG participated in financing the film at the initial stage, and then transferred its rights to the Russian Film Group Corporation LLC.
According to the bankruptcy trustee, “the success of The Secret of the Dragon Seal would not have been possible without the success of Viy 3D, since it is its scenario and logical continuation.” The manager asks to recover this amount from the Chinese co-producer of the new picture and the actors Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in it.
“These individuals, together with the organization that carried out the withdrawal of assets in the form of exclusive rights to Viy 2: Journey to China contributed to the production and popularization, and, consequently, the increase in assets of the Russian Film Group Corporation,” the statement says.
Viy 2 film producer Aleksey Petrukhin said that the lawsuit was filed just to raise someone's PR profile. “This is nonsense, I cannot comment on it,” he said.