Abel Ferrara, the cultdirector of Bad Lieutenant, has been served with an Euros 6m lawsuit forallegedly breaching his contract with Istituto Luce, the Italian state-ownedproduction and distribution outfit, and independent local producer Gam Film.
Ferrara was allegedly due tostart shooting a Euros 4m screwball comedy entitled Go Go Tales,"between December 13, 2004 and January 10, 2005," says NicolaRocchetti, a lawyer who is representing Ferrara's producers, Istituto Luce andGam Film.
Robert Carlyle is to star inthe film, which centres on a Manhattan lap-dance nightclub. France's VisionProduction and the UK's Aquarius are co-producing.
France's Vision Intl, whichis handling international rights, recently announced that it had closed saleson the picture with Scandinavia, Russia, Portugal, former Yugoslavia and theCzech Republic.
Bailiffs knocked on the doorof Ferrara's Rome residence on January 7 to serve him with a lawsuit for breachof contract.
In a press statementreleased on Tuesday, Rocchetti claims that Ferrara has "been unreachablesince October 20" 2004. Ferrara has been based in Italy since late 2003 todrum up financing for Go Go Tales, as well as the drama Mary.
However, when reached forcomment, Mary producer Massimo Cortesi told Screen International that Ferrarais currently in New York where he has been shooting Mary sinceDecember. The production will then move to Jerusalem, Cortesi said.
Cortesi refutes claims thatFerrara has been unreachable.
Mary is co-produced by France's Central Films. Thepicture, which stars Vincent Gallo, focuses on an egotistical filmmaker who isto make and star in a film about the life of Christ, and on the actress who istrapped in her role as Mary Magdalene.