the hockey documentary black icewhich is scheduled to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, is the subject of a lawsuit filed on Sunday (September 4) seeking $10 million in damages from some very big names in the sports world. and entertainment.
The suit was filed in Manhattan State Supreme Court by Billy Hunter, former head of the NBA players’ union and former federal prosecutor, and the names black ice executive producers LeBron James, his business partner Maverick Carter, and Canadian rapper Drake as defendants, among other parties.
Hunter claims that James, Carter and Drake stole his “intellectual property” by making the documentary, which was directed by Hubert Davis (Giants of Africa). He alleges that he has “exclusive rights” to develop a film based on the “very valuable” book Black Ice: The Lost History of the Maritimes Colored Hockey League, 1895-1925which serves as the basis for Davis’s documentary.
The lawsuit alleges that Hunter paid authors Darril Fosty and George Fosty, who are also named as defendants, $265,000 for the rights to their book, but then “entered into another agreement to sell the same rights that Hunter already owned and controlled.” . The suit also claims that when Hunter confronted the Fosty brothers about this, they “misled” him when they claimed that the new film did not violate their previous agreement because it was a documentary.
Hunter’s lawsuit says that “[a] the documentary remains a ‘film’ and an ‘audiovisual adaptation’, and any claim to the contrary is absurd and in bad faith”.
The suit goes on to allege that the other defendants, “including LeBron James and Drake, knew they were buying an option to make a movie based on rights that had already been sold” to Hunter, and that they “decided to go ahead.” overpaying for a portion of the rights” that Hunter claims he already owned.
The lawsuit also names James’s entertainment companies, The SpringHill Company and Uninterrupted Canada; DreamCrew Entertainment, the joint venture of Drake and Adel “Future” Nur; the Fostys’ publisher, Stryker–Indigo; and First Take Entertainment. The full text of the lawsuit can be viewed here.
Current synopses for the film state that the project examines the history of anti-black racism in sports, from the 19th century to today’s professional leagues. actual display had not received comment on the lawsuit from SpringHill at the time of publication.
black ice It will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10, with subsequent screenings on September 11 and 14.