Director files entertainment lawsuit over “The Dark Knight Rises” commissions

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Christopher Nolan, whom Miami movie fans know as the director of “Memento” and the Christian Bale “Batman” movies, recently sued both his former and his current agency.

The basis of his lawsuit is the switch he made earlier this year to follow his agent from Creative Artists Agency to William Morris Endeavor. Now, both CAA and William Morris are saying that Nolan must pay them millions in commission fees for Nolan’s latest film, the summer mega-hit “The Dark Knight Rises.”

CAA argues that it is entitled to any payments for any project that began while Nolan was under its representation. It isn’t clear if that would include “The Dark Knight” specifically, but it would include the Batman trilogy.

William Morris Endeavor points out that “The Dark Knight” was released when Nolan was represented by it and that it handled some damage control in the wake of the movie-theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

In his lawsuit, Nolan essentially says that he does not care whom he pays, but he only wants to pay once and wants the two agencies to work it out with each other and then tell him to pay.

Disputes over commission like this are not at all uncommon in the entertainment industry. When it’s clear there is some money attached to a project, an entertainer or an idea, it seems like everyone wants a piece of it, whether they deserve it or not.

We often help singer, actors, models and other creative talent when there is a dispute over things like commission. If you want to know more about the sort of cases we take on, you might visit our Entertainment Law page.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, “Batman Director Chris Nolan Sues His Agencies To Determine Their Commission,” Alex Ben Block, Sept. 6, 2012