The Bulgarian producer of an espionage thriller sued Abigail Breslin, one of the film’s stars, on Friday, alleging that her “hysterical” and “imaginary” allegations against co-star Aaron Eckhart have imperiled the film’s release.
Dream Team Studios produced the film, entitled “Classified,” in Malta earlier this year. Eckhart plays a hitman who learns that his CIA handler has been dead for years. Breslin plays his daughter.
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According to the lawsuit, the entire production “almost ground to a halt” when Breslin accused Eckhart of “aggressive, demeaning and unprofessional” behavior on set. Breslin alleged that his behavior “placed her at various times in peril,” and she refused to be alone with him in several scenes, according to the suit.
Breslin filed a complaint to SAG-AFTRA “setting forth her fears and blasting Eckhart’s behavior,” according to the suit. Eckhart’s representative did not respond to a request for comment.
Breslin’s representative told Variety that she has not yet been served with the producers’ lawsuit, and stands by her allegations.
“Ms. Breslin categorically denies all contended allegations and unequivocally stands by her statement which she confidentially provided to SAG,” the representative said in a statement.
The lawsuit alleges that in order to complete the film, the producer was forced to make costly accommodations totaling at least $80,000.
The lawsuit also states that the film’s on-set producer, “Mr. Georgiev,” was compelled by SAG-AFTRA set safety rules to prepare an investigative report on the claims.
“His investigation found no evidence in support to (sic) Breslin’s wild, hysterical and imaginary allegations against Eckhart,” the suit states.
The lawsuit also alleges that Breslin has since refused to sign her long-form contract, and has insisted on extra money to do so. Without Breslin’s signature, the producers have found it difficult to distribute the film, and are also unable to claim a tax credit from the Maltese government, the suit states.
The producers also allege there have been “delivery issues to distribution partners as there are few scenes where Breslin and Eckhart are seen together.”
Breslin received an Academy Award nomination for her role in “Little Miss Sunshine,” and has since appeared in “August: Osage County,” “Ender’s Game” and “Zombieland: Double Tap.” Eckhart is known for his roles in “The Dark Knight” and “Thank You For Smoking.”
Tim Roth also stars in “Classified.”
Malta provides generous cash rebates to film productions worth up to 40% of eligible production costs.
The lawsuit was first reported by Rolling Stone.
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