Universal is being sued by Fast and Furious producer Neal Moritz over Hobbs and Shaw. The spin-off hasn’t had the best of luck since the project was announced. Certain cast members from the franchise have thrown shade at the standalone thriller, and now it’s being sued by one of the franchise’s producers. Production is currently underway, and Dwayne Johnson recently shared the first picture of Idris Elba’s villain from the set, welcoming him to the team, along with Jason Statham. So, at the very least, things seem to be going well on the production side of things.
Neal H. Moritz claims that Universal Pictures is in breach of an oral contract between himself and the studio. Moritz goes on to claim that the studio committed “promissory fraud” when it removed him as lead producer on the Hobbs & Shaw movie. Moritz wants his lead producer title back and is claiming that the studio will owe him millions of dollars unless they do so. The lawsuit was just filed this morning, but one can imagine that there has been some back and forth for a while now.
Neal Moritz alleges that once production on Hobbs & Shaw began, he was offered significantly less money with a smaller role. Moritz claims that he was told to either accept the deal, or get taken off of the project all together. This reportedly happened because the budget is much higher than originally thought, though that has yet to be proven at this time. If that wasn’t enough, Moritz is also alleging that the production stole his ideas and wasted a year-and-a-half of his life by removing him from Hobbs & Shaw.
The Hobbs & Shaw lawsuit is still very new, so there’s a chance that it won’t even make it in front of a judge, and could be settled without a lengthy trial, as long as Neal Moritz gets what he feels that he’s entitled to. A verbal agreement will be hard to standup in court, so he may want to settle, if Universal acknowledges the verbal agreement to begin with. These types of lawsuits pop up all of the time in the entertainment business and rarely halt productions, unless they’re breaches of written and signed agreements.
Hobbs & Shaw is scheduled to hit theaters on August 2nd, 2019. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham are happy to be working with each other again, and are probably even more happy to be in the same movie together, as opposed to competing with each other at the summer box office, like this past summer. Statham’s The Meg was the late summer winner this season, while Johnson’s Skyscraper didn’t live up to its expectations. Together, along with Idris Elba as the villain, the movie should be a huge success, much like the other films in the Fast and Furious franchise. The Hobbs & Shaw lawsuit story was first revealed by Deadline.