Chris Pine’s Former Agency Sues, Claiming He Fired Them By E-Mail and Stiffed on Commission

Word of advice: before you fire your agent, be sure that you’re paid up on your commissions.  Also, try to avoid doing the firing via e-mail.

A lawsuit recently filed by the agency SDB Partners claims that Chris Pine, star of Star Trek and This Means War, stiffed the agency by doing precisely that.

SDB has represented Pine since 2002 (or, as the lawsuit says, when “nobody was willing to touch” Pine) and negotiated all of his big roles in the last decade, including his next several roles.

Even more interesting is that the lawsuit gives detailed information about Pine’s alleged paydays for some of his biggest roles, including:

  • His three-film Star Trek contract will have him taking home $1.5 million plus up to $500,000 in backend compensation for Star Trek 2, and $3 million plus the $500,000 in backend for Star Trek 3, and 5% net of all merchandising bearing his likeness.
  • $3 million for Unstoppable.
  • Another three-film deal to star as Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, with $4 million, $8 million, and $12 million for each film in the franchise, plus backend.
  • $5 million for This Means War, plus $1 million in deferred compensation based on box office.
  • $750,000 for the low-budget Dreamworks film Welcome to People, with up to $4.25 million in bonuses.

The suit claims that Pine hasn’t paid up his commissions on the last two deals.  Perhaps most damaging — I’m not sure for who, frankly — is that the suit also claims that Pine dismissed his agents via e-mail, which is reproduced below:

After much thought and consideration, I have decided that it is best for me to leave.  I hope that you will understand that this decision was very difficult for me to make because I owe much of the success in my career to all of you.  At our last group meeting I explained that I was frustrated and needed more than what I was getting from the agency.  I thought that with some time, perhaps, my feelings might change but unfortunately they have not.  Please know that I recognize what great advocates you have been for me and that you have invested your time and energy into building my career.  None of this do I take lightly or for granted. That is why this has been so agonizing for me.  I hope that you can respect my decision and accept it as final.

I wish you, Steven, Ro and Susie nothing but the best.  Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.  If you need to discuss anything further please contact, John.

 WIth [sic] much appreciation and gratitude,

Damn, at least he was nice about it.  Then again, depending on the wording of his contract on termination this may or may not constitute a breach of contract.  Still, I’m sure SDB is more concerned about the unpaid commission than the e-mail.  It’s like, yeah, it sucks if your significant other dumps you via e-mail, but it sucks even more if you left a lot of your stuff at his or her apartment.

And of course, always pay your bills, since if Pine didn’t he’ll likely end up paying more in the long run, either through a settlement or a drawn-out court case.

via The Hollywood Reporter

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