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Cussler & Anschutz Take It To Court

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Author Clive Cussler, writer of the book "Sahara" has filed suit against the film-makers who brought his novel to the big screen in 2005, The Los Angeles Times reported. Anschutz had given Cussler a very generous contract for the rights to 1992 novel, breaking one of the "cardinal rules" of the film industry by giving the author a high degree of creative control. The deal included $10 Million per novel (Sahara is part of Cussler's Dirk Pitt seres), final say over directors, writers, actors and some control over the script.

Accrding to the Times, Anschutz has lost over $100 million on the film and has been forced to abandon several projects based on other Dirk Pitt novels and is still embroiled in the contentious lawsuit. The lawsuit, brought by Cussler, alleges that Anschutz's company, Crusader Entertainment, had breached its contract with him in that he was not given the sole and absolute approval rights that were stipulated. "They deceived me right from the beginning," Cussler testified. "They kept lying to me … and I just got fed up with it."

Anschutz has filed countersuit, alleging that Cussler sought to blackmail his film company by withholding consent over the script unless they used the novelist's own screenplay. They further allege that Cussler torpedoed the movie with negative comments in the press. "It is the height of arrogance for Cussler to take $10m to make a movie and then torpedo the franchise," said Anschutz's attorney, Alan Rader.

The film, released in 2005, was considered to be a major flop.

Jury selection for the case has begun. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers