Back in 2005, producer/director John Singleton apparently struck a deal with MTV Films and Paramount that would allow them to distribute a little movie he produced called "Hustle & Flow" in exchange for Paramount financing and producing two additional films for Singleton in addition to a $9 million fee upfront.
The deal actually worked out well for Paramount, as "Hustle & Flow" not only went on to great critical acclaim, it grossed $23 million at the box office (which is significant when you realize it only cost $2.8 million to make).
Now, however, Singleton is claiming the studio has not honored its end of the deal. He is suing Paramount for fraud and breach of contract to the tune of $20 million - Singleton claims he passed on other studios' more lucrative offers for "Hustle & Flow" because of what Paramount had promised him.
U.S. & World
There has been no official response yet from Paramount on the suit. Singleton, meanwhile, is looking to bounce back after his last directorial effort - the Taylor Lautner vehicle "Abduction" - did tepid box office, and "Hustle & Flow" director Craig Brewer is still wondering how the heck a week-old "Real Steel" beat his "Footloose" remake.