Israeli Bank Sues Two Hollywood Studios for Nixing New Johnny Depp Film

Bank Leumi reportedly claims Miramax and Global Road Entertainment owe it millions of dollars in guarantees for the films, which the studios say they pulled over Depp's problematic conduct on set

Actor Johnny Depp posing at the world premiere of the film 'Murder on the Orient Express' in London, November 2, 2017.
Vianney Le Caer,AP

Israel's Bank Leumi filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against two Hollywood film studios  Global Road Entertainment and Miramax  over their decision to nix Johnny Depp's latest film, "City of Lies," Variety magazine reported.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed to a federal court in Los Angeles, the studios owe the Israeli bank millions of dollars in unpaid guarantees on the film.

Global Road Entertainment was supposed to release the film in North America on September 7, but cancelled its plans earlier this month.

The lawsuit cites Global Road CEO Rob Friedman as telling producers that the studio "is not going to accept the movie because of the current environment surrounding it." A week after Friedman spoke to producers in July, an attorney for Miramax wrote a letter to the bank in which it was conveyed that the studio would do the same.

Miramax's letter cited "significant problems with the production which have devalued the picture, including, without limitation, the highly publicized off-screen conduct of Johnny Depp, as well as a lawsuit filed against Mr. Depp and the production because he allegedly physically attacked a crew member on the set."

The Hollywood actor was sued on July 9 for allegedly punching a location manager on the film's set, a claim his representatives deny.

Official trailer for the film 'City of Lies'Global Road Entertainment / YouTube

The film was centered on an LAPD probe into the deaths of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Depp plays the character of an LAPD detective who spends years trying to solve the two murders.

Production company Good Films got $23.2 million in loans from Bank Leumi to produce the film. Global Road, which was previously known as Open Road, agreed to distribute the film domestically and to pay a minimum of $5.4 million in guarantee directly to Bank Leumi, the suit says.

Miramax, which took the television rights, agreed to a $4.25 million guarantee.

According to the suit, Good Films delivered the finished film over the summer to Open Road, which initially seemed willing to pay Leumi back in full, but has since balked.

Global Road was taken over last week by Bank of America and other lenders.

The suit claims that Global Road used Johnny Depp's off-screen issues as an excuse for the failure to release the film.

Global Road did not respond to Variety's request for comment.