John Singleton Sues Over "Hustle & Flow"

10/19/2011 1:05 PM PDT

John Singleton Sues Over 'Hustle & Flow'

John Singleton
is suing Paramount Pictures and MTV Films, claiming they totally screwed him by reneging on their promise to finance and distribute 2 films -- especially galling because Singleton gave THEM the right to make untold millions by distributing "Hustle & Flow."

According to the lawsuit, obtained by TMZ, Singleton gave Paramount the right to distribute the flick back in 2005 and Singleton took a relatively small, $9 million fee.  In return, Paramount promised to green light and finance 2 Singleton pictures in the future, provided the budgets of those films didn't exceed $3.5 million each. Based on this promise, Singleton also says he later gave the studio the right to distribute "Black Snake Moan."

The suit claims Paramount made a fortune off "Hustle & Flow," which won an Oscar for Best Song and was critically acclaimed.  But when it came time for Singleton to get his movies made, he claims Paramount started placing unwarranted conditions which made it impossible to make the movies.

Singleton says he passed up all sorts of opportunities to make big deals with other companies when he signed on with Paramount, and he's pissed.

The producer is suing for $20 million, minimum.