Star of “This Means War” going to battle with his talent agency

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

Chris Pine, the actor likely best known for his starring role as Capt. James T. Kirk in the most recent Star Trek movie, is being sued by this talent agency which accuses him of breach of contract after Pines ended his nine-year relationship with the agency. In the court filings in this lawsuit, the agency took particular umbrage with the fact that when Pines terminated the relationship, he did so by email.

Starting with guest spots on ER and CSI: Miami, Pines career took off with movies like “Unstoppable,” “Star Trek” and “This Means War,” which is releasing this week. The agency claims that this success is largely a result of their efforts, having begun working with Pines before he had any notoriety. The lawsuit seeks allegedly unpaid commissions from several recent films as well as future commissions for roles which the agency apparently helped the actor obtain.

The agency says that it is entitled to 10 percent of the actors take from about two dozen separate projects including, future “Star Trek” and “Jack Ryan” movies. The allegedly unpaid commissions on movies that are already complete is nearly $200,000. The agency claims that after Pines terminated the relationship, they attempted to contact him to clarify that they would seek a portion of his future profits, but they claim that Pines never responded.

The relationship between an actor and his talent agent can be a significant factor in a performer’s career. When things are beginning to take off, generally both sides are very pleased with the arrangement. The actor is happy with the roles that the agency is helping him land and the agency is starting to see a return for the work that they have done. But that dynamic can change over time. It is important to understand what these new dynamics can look like before entering into a contract.

Source: Reuters News, “Chris Pine’s Former Agency Sues ‘Star Trek’ Star for Commissions,” Feb. 14, 2012