Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sues Sports Film Production Company

By Kamika Dunlap on February 01, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's independent film about post-WWI black culture and the Harlem Renaissance will not be showcased at this year's Sundance Film Festival.

The film based on the basketball legend's 2007 book "On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance" was not completed in time to be considered for Sundance. The annual festival is the largest showcase of independent cinema.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is holding a New York sports film production company largely responsible for missing the deadline.

According to the Hollywood Reporter Esq., Abdul-Jabbar has filed a lawsuit against William Zagger and his B-Train Films company for $1 million for failing to deliver a documentary. In 2009, Abdul-Jabbar and his producing partner hired Zagger and B-Train to direct and produce a 90-minute movie within seven months based on a screenplay.

Abdul-Jabbar's production company says it paid $500,000 for a full-length movie to be developed. Instead of delivering a final cut on Oct. 31, as promised, a rough cut with unlicensed music and clips was handed over on Nov. 2, the complaint says.

Currently, Abdul-Jabbar is trying to finish the film himself at the expense of several hundred thousand of dollars, bringing his damages to at least $1 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The complaint says that the multiple delays have now prevented Abdul-Jabbar from not only offering it to Sundance but inking any distribution deals and screening it at NBA Hall of Fame or All-Star events.

The lawsuit filed alleges causes of action for:

  • breach of contract,
  • breach of the implied covenant of good faith,
  • declaratory relief,
  • promissory fraud,
  • conversion and an accounting

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