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Editor: D. A. Jeremy Telman
Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

World's Worst Director Ordered to Pay $2.1 Million for Breach of Contract

Uwe_bollMany have called Uwe Boll (pictured) among the world's worst directors. For example, here, here, here, here, and here. Boll has not taken the criticism standing down. Rather, he has challenged his critics to boxing matches and easily bested them (you can view a video of three quick boxing matches on the New York Times website). Boll was gracious after pummeling his critics. In an interview reprinted in The Guardian, he said:

They were badmouthing me but they showed balls going into the ring. Now they are brain dead and they will like my movies.

Still, the criticism has only increased. In fact, there is a website devoted to trying to get him to stop making movies. Now that's pretty cold. There is another website devoted to convincing people that Uwe Boll is an antiChrist (or the antiChrist -- the website isn't entirely clear on that one). Ouch. Let me be very clear here. I don't have an opinion about Uwe Boll, and I don't box. All I will say is this: Ben Kingsley?

But now Mr. Boll has more pressing problems. As The Hollywood Reporter here reports, a Los Angeles court has now affirmed an arbitrator's judgment ordering the German director to pay his distributor $2.1 million in damages for for breach of contract and libel. The libel claims stems from disparaging e-mails that Boll sent to Fantastic Films International's customers. Press reports are necessary as to the details of the breach of contract claims, but apparently Boll has exclusive distribution agreements with Fantasy Films and either sought to distribute his films through other partnerships or failed to pay commissions due to the distributor. The real shocker (or perhaps reel shocker -- ha ha ha!) is that the films (some of which were honored with a placement on IMDb's Bottom 100) were to be distributed in over 45 countries. I suppose the fact that Mr. Boll's movies are not popular with critics does not rule out the possibility of commercial appeal.

[Jeremy Telman]

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