Wesley Snipes is suing New Line Cinema and other producers of "Blade: Trinity" for allegedly failing to pay him his full salary and using him to promote a potential spinoff franchise involving some of
LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Wesley Snipes is suing New Line Cinema and other producers of "Blade: Trinity" for allegedly failing to pay him his full salary and using him to promote a potential spinoff franchise involving some of the film's other actors.
Snipes' suit, filed April 18 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, seeks $5 million in damages for the salary dispute and unspecified damages for the other claims.
New Line representatives declined comment, citing the ongoing litigation. Other defendants include Avery Pix and "Trinity" director David Goyer.
Snipes' attorney, Marc Greenberg, said the defendants have failed to pay the final $3 million of Snipes' $13 million salary for "Trinity," the third installment in the series that featured him as the lead character, Blade.
The suit also accuses the defendants of trying to capitalize on Snipes' appearance in the film to promote a potential new franchise.
"The true purpose for creating 'Blade III,' " the suit claims, "was to set the stage for a planned spinoff series of movies featuring other cast member Ryan Reynolds, who plays Hannibal King in 'Blade III,' in a new series of movies about the Nightstalkers, the vampire hunters played by Reynolds, Jessica Biel and Natasha Lyonne."
Said Greenberg, "We want to make sure that the public ... understands that Mr. Snipes made his effort to keep the trilogy on track and that those efforts were not successful due to decisions made by the director and other producers."
Snipes also claims that he was denied several contractual rights of approval and consultation on key elements of the film, including director and screenplay.
"The screenplay for 'Blade III' represented a significant departure from the story line of 'Blade' and 'Blade II,' resulting in reduced screen presence for plaintiff Snipes and the Blade character," the lawsuit claims. "The purpose of this reduced screen presence for plaintiff Snipes in 'Blade III' was to allow the introduction and promotion of two new characters as 'sidekicks' to the Blade character and to position those minor characters to be 'spun off' into successive motion pictures without the Blade character."
"Blade: Trinity" cost about $65 million to produce and has grossed about $125 million worldwide since its release in December.