Kevin Costner has sued the producers of the 1991 blockbuster ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ – 21 years after it came out.
The Oscar-winning actor claims that he has not received the agreed slice of the profits from the film which has made £250 million in box office receipts.
It has also brought in tens of millions in TV repeats and video sales.
Costner is demanding unspecified damages – thought to run into millions of pounds – because Morgan Creek productions ‘obfuscated, concealed and reneged’ on its deal.
But in a statement Morgan Creek claimed it had already paid him more than £25 million – and asked why after all this time he was going to the court.
In his lawsuit Costner claims that the producers were supposed to pay him 15 per cent of the gross receipts from the film upward of £60 million.
Instead Morgan Creek allegedly under-reported home video receipts by up to 90 per cent.
Coster, 57, who was 36 when he made the film, claims that it wrongfully deducted £1.2million in costs without explaining how these costs were incurred.
He also alleges that Morgan Creek gave distribution rights to an international subsidiary which was in breach of its agreement with him.
The lawsuit begins by stating: ‘Every actor hopes to star in a great movie that makes substantial profits.
Taking aim: The actor, with co-star Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, claims he has not received the agreed slice of the profits from the film which has made £250 million in box office receipts
‘But if you’re hoping to earn profits based on the success of your film and you want to be paid on a timely basis, then one company you certainly do not want to do business with is Defendant Morgan Creek Productions.’
Filed in Los Angeles, it introduces Coster as an ‘Academy Award winning actor’ known for films like JFK, Dances With Wolves, The Bodyguard and The Untouchables.
Morgan Creek allegedly ‘intentionally concealed information and employed inaccurate and improper accounting practices designed to deprive Costner of his backend participation’.
The complaint claims that Morgan Creek was ‘consistently late’ in giving Costner updates about sales then just ‘stopped altogether’.
When it came time for Morgan Creek to pay up it supposedly ‘obfuscated, concealed and reneged’.
‘Robin Hood’ was one of the biggest films of the 1990s and spawned the Bryan Adams theme song ‘Everything I do I do it for you’ which spent a record 16 weeks at number one in the charts.
When it was eventually beaten by U2’s ‘The Fly’ some called for the band to be given a prize, though ‘Everything I do’ ended up handing around the charts for a total of six months.
Coster is alleging a breach of contract, fraud, unjust enrichment and breach of implied covenant or good faith dealing.
Morgan Creek chief executive James Robinson said: ‘Why is it after 21 years Mr Costner finds fault with our accounting procedures or for that matter our way of doing business?
‘We have paid him over $40 million (£25m). I think we’ve been very nice to him. I wonder how much money he has made from other films where he is participant. We’ve been very straight with him.’