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Das Films, a U.S.-based production company, has sued Bliss Media, a Chinese company, for breach of contract in relation to Orlando Bloom’s new film, Smart Chase: Fire & Earth. According to the complaint, Das and Bliss signed a producer agreement in 2015 for the film, with Das Films as the producer and Bliss as the financier, and which included a $750,000 fixed fee for Das Films. However, Das Films claims that thereafter, Bliss engaged in a series of maneuvers to “invent” reasons to terminate Das because Bliss “wanted only to learn from [their] experience and not pay for the work.” The complaint alleges that Bliss’s founder held up the entire production by failing to approve key decisions regarding the script, schedule, budget, and lead actor. Das Films claims Bliss’s founder then insisted on moving up production, impossible given the decision delays, so Bliss would have an excuse to remove Das Films from the project. They also allege that, after terminating Das Films, Bliss told Das Films it would abandon the film, though it subsequently commenced production this past summer. For damages, Das Films is seeking its promised contractual fee, of which it has only received ten percent, as well as box office bonuses and profit sharing.

As Chinese media companies play an increasingly large role in Hollywood, this case will set an important precedent for the industry. Read more about the case here.

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