The Wolf of Wall Street director Martin Scorsese has made quite a name for himself by directing a number of successful films and TV shows. Scorsese rose to fame in the 1970s, specifically with his film Mean Streets (1973), which set the stage for the rest of his directing style and for him to find success in filming movies with different levels of drama.
A Scorsese-directed film was almost a guaranteed hit, and it explains why plenty of production companies and screenwriters sought him out. But back in 2012, Scorsese found himself in the midst of a lawsuit after a company alleged that he’d agreed to direct their film Silence. However, once he opted to start directing The Wolf of Wall Street instead, a lawsuit ensued.
Martin Scorsese was sued for $1.5 million after he started directing ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
According to production company Cecchi Gori Pictures, The Wolf of Wall Street director Martin Scorsese supposedly agreed back in 1990 to helm the company’s film Silence. The film adapted the New York Times bestselling book of the same name, written by Japanese author Shusaku Endo. The book centered on Christians tortured in Japan in the 1600s.
The production company claimed in 2012 that Scorsese had agreed to direct the film but would do so after finishing other films, including The Departed and Shutter Island. However, upon completing those films, Scorsese went on to direct Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, which prompted Cecchi Gori to file the suit.
The company alleged that Scorsese owed $1.5 million in supposedly unpaid delay fees for his decision to film several movies before Silence. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in addition to the fees of up to $1.5 million, Scorsese reportedly owed as much as 20% of his post-production earnings from the films he’d chosen to direct first. It wasn’t until after Scorsese put off Silence once more in favor of The Wolf of Wall Street that the suit was filed.
Martin Scorsese denied the claims and settled the lawsuit
Following the lawsuit’s announcement, a rep for Scorsese said the allegations were “shocking” and “absurd.”
“The claims asserted are completely contradicted by, inconsistent with, and contrary to the express terms of an agreement entered into by the parties last year,” the rep’s statement read, per The Hollywood Reporter.
In 2014, about a year and a half after the initial filing, Scorsese and Cecchi Gori reached a settlement. “The matter has been settled in its entirety,” a statement from Los Angeles court documents read, per Deadline.
However, any details of the settlement still remain unknown. Scorsese eventually directed the film, which hit theaters in 2016. The movie had an all-star cast, including Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield, and Adam Driver. The movie wound up receiving an Oscar nomination at the 2017 awards show for Best Cinematography, though it did not win. The film didn’t perform as well at the box office as hoped, though it did receive overall positive reviews.