Boll sues <i>BloodRayne</i> distributor

Controversial game-to-film director sues company that handled vampire flick's US theatrical run.

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As gruesome a spectacle as BloodRayne the movie might have been, a similarly morbid amount of interest surrounds the film's theatrical run, openly referred to as a "debacle" in trade mag Variety. The plot thickens today, as the film's director, Uwe Boll (House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark), has filed suit against Romar Entertainment, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Boll's suit reportedly alleges that Romar breached its contract with the director by failing to release the film on 2,000 screens, refusing to pay the producers their share of the gross proceeds, and not using the $10 million that Boll's production company had given them for promotion and advertising of the film.

Boll confirmed the suit for GameSpot, but directed all questions about it to his lawyer, who had not returned a request for comment as of press time. However, Romar Entertainment cofounder James Schramm was willing to discuss the matter with GameSpot, particularly that Boll filed the suit because Romar was planning a suit of its own.

Schramm said that Boll removed the Romar name and logo from the credits, trailer, and packaging of the DVD release of Bloodrayne, and that Boll fraudulently put his own name in place of Schramm's on the presenting credits. Schramm also charged that Boll violated agreements with Romar when he refused to pay the company 1 percent of the film's DVD sales, failed to make the film's talent available for press junkets, and would not allow BloodRayne to be screened for critics.

"He had such bad publicity that I felt bad, and I wanted to help him out," Schramm said. "We made no money on this movie. Nothing. We lost. This was a complete financial loss. And he has the audacity to remove us off [the credits]."

As for Boll's accusations, Schramm said his company upheld its end of the bargain.

"He was informed months prior to the release that January 6 was not a good day for him to release a movie and he will not get 2,000 screens," Schramm explained. "And he said, 'I don't care.' Get me whatever you can get me."

As for the film's marketing, Schramm said Boll was "very happy" with it and had agreed to have the company distribute two more of his game films, including the announced adaptation of Postal. However, if those movies do get a theatrical release, Romar obviously won't be involved.

"His behavior is so out of whack, I don't even care what other movies he's doing," Schramm said. "I don't want to have anything to do with his company or him...Hollywood doesn't need someone like that. Hollywood doesn't need someone who's coming in from another country and demanding their way of doing things, and then in dealing with honest people like us, just taking advantage of us. He complains so much about people stealing from him and taking from him, and the one and only company that's left in Hollywood, us, that have done good business with him, now he's screwing us."

Schramm said he's more disappointed than mad at Boll, but also said that the whole affair could serve as a warning sign to other distributors.

"Hopefully this is a sign to everybody in Hollywood of someone not to do business with," Schramm said.

According to Schramm, Romar has been in contact with Boll's attorney, and the two sides are going to discuss possible settlements.

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