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"Passion" Writer Claims He Was Stiffed

2/11/2008 7:10 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

The man who wrote the movie "The Passion of the Christ" is suing Mel Gibson, claiming the director short-changed him by saying it would be a small film -- and not the big budget, big bucks flick it turned out to be.
Read the docs
According to papers filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court, Benedict Fitzgerald claims that Gibson's "personal gift to his faith" was to have a budget in the $4-7 million range -- and there wouldn't be a lot of money in the budget for the writer. He was also told several times by Gibson, he claims, that Gibson didn't plan to make any money from the film.

Instead, according to court documents, the flick cost almost $30 mil and Gibson made a fortune. The film grossed over $600 mil worldwide. Fitzgerald is suing for fraud and asking for damages in excess of $25,000.

Reps for the Mel's production company, Icon Productions, say the suit is "frivolous" and that Fitzgerald was "handsomely compensated."
35 COMMENTS

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31.

Facts    

Hahaha what did he expect it would be? Did he not think that Mel Gibson, the hate-spewing, racist pig would try and make as much money as he could from this? He didn't make this for the faith you naive people, he made it for the one thing that is universal in this world, MONEY! It wasn't even a good movie, but of course everyone had to see it because it has something to do with Christ and he knew that would happen. He knew fanatics would not only see it once but more than likely keep going back and seeing it. He is a brilliant, racist capitalist that knows just what to do to make money.

P.S. David T, not everything in that movie was in the bible, jack ass.

2358 days ago
32.

GGW Fan    

26. First of all, who makes a movie NOT expecting to make money on it?!

Mel knew what he was doing the whole time.

Pay the man, Mel! You can afford it!

Posted at 1:57PM on Feb 12th 2008 by Randi


for 25k I would say yes. But when this dude is expecting 720k to rewrite a contract after the fact? That's f'n BS

2358 days ago
33.

homeowner22    

The screenwriter is ending whatever career he might have hoped to have. Mel Gibson took the heat for this picture. He physically showed up to face his critics. They were not nice. Let's face it, Mel is really a brilliant talent who puts his money where his mouth is. I respect him for his maverick quality. He did an amazing followup to the Passion film. Mel is the real deal. He controls the filmic experience like a master. The junior screenwriter is making a mistake.

2358 days ago
34.

Patti in Ct.    

Who wrote the passion? This guy's got alot of nerve. The catholic church should sue him for plagiarism. Mel Gibson is a genius and I can't wait to see what kind of film he does next.

2273 days ago
35.

leesmith    

Japan is greed country, World war II attack on Pearl Harbor, they looting and killing in Asia. Now they wantonly kill whales, impact sink the ship of green group , the U.S. is the most fair-minded countries.
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1582 days ago
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