Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has yet to comment on the recent news that Patty Jenkins‘ “Star Wars” movie “Rogue Squadron” and Kevin Feige‘s rumored film have been shelved.
However, Lucasfilm started making headlines on Wednesday for another reason. The Lucasfilm franchise has been hit with a breach of contract lawsuit from executive producer Karyn McCarthy over work done on the upcoming Star Wars Disney+ series “The Acolyte.”
Executive Producer For ‘Star Wars’ Series ‘The Acolyte’ Sues Lucasfilm Over ‘Egregious’ Firing
On Wednesday, Deadline was the first to report on the lawsuit that was filed on March 7 by Glaser Weil Fink Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP. Although the court documents claim that she had multiple options available to her, executive producer Karyn McCarthy decided to make a commitment to Lucasfilm and the Disney+ series “The Acolyte” in April 2022.
However, less than a year later, it looks like McCarthy was let go from the series, which is still in development. “As a result of its bad faith and wrongful termination, Defendants deprived Ms. McCarthy significant employment, from which she would have earned millions of dollars over the life of the series,” the filing states.
The court documents go into significant detail about how she began to work on April 7, 2022. A few days later, on April 11, 2022, a “broad strokes” agreement that included hotel allowances for her hotel room in the U.K. and miscellaneous per diems had been sent to her agent, David Morris.
That same day, Lucasfilm VP Physical Productions Candice Campos sent an email to Morris saying, “We really want to make this work!” Although it seemed that things started off on the right foot, McCarthy’s employment went south quickly.
‘The Acolyte’ EP Claims That Lucasfilm ‘Denied’ Their Initial Agreement
According to the court documents: “Two weeks later, without explanation, without reason, without justification, Lucasfilm told McCarthy it wanted out of the deal.” McCarthy, who had also been courted by Apple, soon found that the “Apple offer was gone” and she “now had neither deal.”
Even though McCarthy seemed to be disappointed in her dismissal, she requested compensation for the work that she had already contributed to the series. That’s when a bad situation became worse, as Lucasfilm “denied that they even had an agreement,” according to the court documents.
The lawsuit goes on to say:
When McCarthy went to Lucasfilm and requested to be paid, Lucasfilm denied that they even had an agreement, even though (1) they had made their offer, containing all of the material deal points; (20 McCarthy accepted that offer; (3) Lucasfilm had McCarthy start right away; and (4) Lucasfilm sent to McCarthy a memorandum of agreement, memorializing the terms including that McCarthy had already commenced working, In further disregard of McCarthy and the work she had already done, Lucasfilm offered to pay McCarthy $5,000 for a single day’s work.
McCarthy rejected Lucasfilm’s anemic and insulting offer, and even though Lucasfilm acknowledged that McCarthy had, in fact, performed work for it, Lucasfilm never paid McCarthy for that work. McCarthy is therefore forced to bring this action to hold Lucasfilm accountable for its egregious breach of their agreement, its bad faith denial of that agreement, and for the statutory penalties McCarthy is entitled for its failure to pay her for her work.
McCarthy’s attorneys Patty Glaser, Robert Allen, and Matthew W. Bernstein claim that McCarthy potentially lost out on “millions of dollars” due to the loss of the contract and are requesting that a jury provide unspecified damages.
As for “The Acolyte” series, no release date has yet to be announced. The cast includes “The Hunger Games” star Amandla Stenberg and “Squid Game” star Lee Jung-Jae. “Matrix” star Carrie Anne-Moss has also become attached to the project in recent months, as have several others.
Amandla Stenberg Reveals ‘The Acolyte’ Role Was Created For Her
In an interview with The Face magazine (via Game Rant) Amandla revealed that Lucasfilm producers had written the lead character of the series with her specifically in mind.
“The Lucasfilm team came to me with this project which was fully conceptualized with me in mind, and I was astounded,” she told the publication. Amandla also described herself as a big fan of the movies and TV shows, adding that she is “so lucky” to get to “get lost” in the franchise as part of her job.
“I get to read, watch, and breathe Star Wars. It’s my job to get lost in it, I’m so lucky,” she said. “My plans were interrupted by a very different life path, but one that I think is going to be a huge blessing.”