US Killer Elite producer slapped with breach of contract suit

28 July, 2011 by Sam Dallas

Killer Elite producer and Palomar Pictures' principal Sigurjon Sighvatsson has been taken to court by a film executive claiming credit and money for his work on the upcoming action-thriller.

TheWrap reports a suit was filed in the Los Angeles Supreme Court by Jay Burnley – a former development executive for Sighvatsson – who says he was promised a co-producer’s credit and $US50,000 for his seven years of work that ultimately resulted in the film being made.


However a written contact was never signed, with Burley saying they only had an oral agreement.

The suit says his seven years of work “greatly exceeded” the tasks required of him. Such tasks included meeting with director Gary McKendry and writers of the $66 million film, helping secure talent for the film, and advising on casting, among other things.

TheWrap says Burley is not only seeking credit and damages but also attorneys’ fees.

Shot in Melbourne (as well as Paris, Wales, London, Dubai and Oman) last year, the film – which stars Clive Owen, Robert De Niro and Jason Statham – opens on more than 2000 screens in the US on September 23 through Open Road Films. No Australian distributor has been announced.

Killer Elite – an adaptation of Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ non-fiction novel The Feather Men – follows special-ops agent Danny (Statham), who is lured out of self-imposed exile to execute a feat of retribution and personal salvation. He reassembles his old team of operatives to help rescue his former mentor (DeNiro), and to infiltrate the British Special Air Service (SAS).

Facing off against a covert group of ex-SAS soldiers known as “The Feather Men,” who, under their leader Spike (Owen), provide a deadly cloak of security around all SAS members, Danny and his team must take down a rogue cell of solider assassins before their actions result in a global political meltdown.

The Omnilab Media-financed film was supported by the 40 per cent Producer Offset government rebate.

To view the trailer, click here.