The screenwriter of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Anthony McCarten, is suing the co-producer of the Queen biopic, Graham King, and his company, GK Films, accusing them of breach of contract and unpaid profits over the 2018 film.
In the complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Nov. 10, McCarten claimed that he had a deal with King to receive 5 percent of GK Film's take from the film.
At some point, Fox and Disney acquired the film, which changed the accounting definitions of the deal, McCarten said in his lawsuit, adding that he has not been paid a cent from his deal with King.
The biopic of Queen's lead singer, Freddie Mercury, had a budget of $55 million and grossed more than $900 million worldwide. But it lost $51 million, according to accounting statements issued by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
In his lawsuit, McCarten claims he is owed payments under the terms of the GK Films contract, citing the first of three deals he struck with production company WAGW Inc. in 2015 for an “amount equal to 5% of 100% of the ‘Net Proceeds.’”
Fox, however, argued that McCarten was only due payments determined by their "‘Defined Net Proceeds’ definition, rather than GK Films’ standard ‘Net Proceeds’ definition, as modified through good faith negotiation,” the lawsuit said.
McCarten is seeking unspecified monetary damages, a “judicial declaration of the parties’ contractual rights and duties" under his agreement with GK Films, and a full accounting of the film’s proceeds.
GK Films did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday, but the production company told Deadline it thinks Fox and Disney should be a party to this action and will be reaching out to them.
Representatives for McCarten declined to comment Thursday.
McCarten is a New Zealand screenwriter best known for writing the biopics "The Theory of Everything," "The Darkest Hour" and "The Two Popes."