Did you go see "The Dark Knight" this summer? Lots of people here in L.A. did. In fact, it was one of the biggest hits of the year.
Now, whenever a project makes a pot of cash, it seems like everyone wants to dip his or her hand into it, and "The Dark Knight" is no exception.
That film's director, Christopher Nolan, and his wife Emma Nolan, who was a producer, recently sued both their former and current agency because both are demanding commissions on "The Dark Knight Rises". The Nolans only want to pay the commission once, of course, and want to the two companies to determine amongst themselves to whom the commission is owed.
The genesis of this suit was Nolans' departure from CAA to William Morris Endeavor earlier this year, a move he made to follow his agent. CAA has said it is owed commission because Nolan's "Batman" trilogy was begun while he was at CAA. Endeavor claims the commissions belong to it, because it represented Nolan when "The Dark Knight" was released in theaters. It also handled a lot of crisis control after the shootings at a "Dark Knight" screening in Colorado.
The Nolans have indicated they do not care to whom the money is owed; they just want to pay it and move on. Neither CAA nor William Morris Endeavor has publicly said how much money is at issue here.
Disputes over commission are by no means unusual in the entertainment industry. If you are an entertainer and you need help sorting out a commission dispute, you might consider having an attorney represent you. We're one of the law firms in the Los Angeles area that helps clients with these sorts of legal issues. To learn more about what we do, you could visit our Entertainment Law website.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, "Batman Director Chris Nolan Sues His Agencies To Determine Their Commission," Alex Ben Block, Sept. 6, 2012