In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court Wednesday, Cecchi Gori said Scorsese signed a contract to direct "Silence," for which the film company owns rights. Executives at the company said the director agreed to begin production on "Silence" before the end of 2012, but he has started shooting "The Wolf of Wall Street" starring Leonardo DiCaprio, instead, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.
"It came as a surprise to us that 'Wolf of Wall Street' was next on the agenda," Cecchi Gori chief executive Niels Juul said. "We have asked for clarification for a while and haven't gotten a response. Sadly it seems that in Hollywood you can't get a response until you file a lawsuit."
The lawsuit said Cecchi Gori Pictures has spent $750,000 developing "Silence."
In addition to breach of contract, the document alleges Scorsese and his production company, Sikelia Productions, owe Cecchi Gori Pictures $1.5 million plus 20 percent of all "back-end" compensation the director received related to his last film, "Hugo." In 2004 Scorsese allegedly agreed to pay that amount for directing the children's film before "Silence," the lawsuit said.