Lawsuit Filed Over James Caan’s Final Film, ‘Fast Charlie’

Screenwriter Lee Goldberg is suing two production companies in a dispute over the late James Caan’s last film, the crime drama Fast Charlie.

Fast Charlie is director Phillip Noyce’s take on Victor Gischler’s Edgar Award-nominated novel Gun Monkeys. It centers on Charlie Swift (Pierce Brosnan), who has worked for aging mob boss Stan (Caan) for 20 years, skillfully operating as a prolific fixer and efficient hitman. When a rival boss moves to eliminate Stan and his entire team, he fails to get Charlie. Now on his own, Charlie will stop at nothing to avenge his friend, and has no plans to leave anyone alive.

Goldberg and his company, Adventures in Television, brought the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday against Boomtown Media Partners LLC and Fast Charlie Nola LLC, alleging breach of contract and seeking declaratory relief.

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Representatives for the defendants could not be immediately reached.

Goldberg has written for Psych, Monk, Diagnosis Murder and Baywatch. He claims he entered a written contract in March 2021 with Boomtown Media to obtain the option to acquire the motion picture, television and ancillary rights to Gun Monkeys, a screenplay authored by Goldberg based on the Gischler’s novel of the same name.

All monies due Goldberg’s company were to be paid to Goldberg if a film was made based on Gun Monkeys along with credits in the main titles, home video packaging and other areas, according to the suit.

Goldberg believes Boomtown assigned its rights to Fast Charlie Nola, which in April 2022 began shooting Fast Charlie, a movie based on Gun Monkeys, but the plaintiff was not paid the agreed-upon purchase price or provided through his company the first opportunity to make any revisions to the script.

The New Orleans-shot film has wrapped, but has not yet been released. Goldberg and his company want a preliminary injunction stopping the defendants from distributing Fast Charlie available until a determination is made regarding the plaintiffs’ rights to writing and co-producer credits. The suit also seeks compensatory damages.

Caan died July 6 at age 82 and was known for playing in films such as The Godfather, Thief and Brian’s Song.

The Fast Charlie ensemble also includes Gbenga Akkinagbe, Morena Baccarin and Toby Huss. Richard Wenk (The Magnificent Seven, The Equalizer) has a screenwriting credit on the film, with Daniel Grodnik (Bobby) and Mitchell Welch (Chain of Command) serving as producers. Screen Media’s David Fannon and Seth Needle, Foresight Unlimited’s Mark Damon and Tamara Birkemoe and David Nagelberg served as its EPs, with UTA Independent Film Group arranging financing.

Screen Media holds worldwide rights to the pic, and is looking to release it in early 2023.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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