Star Wars VIII Director Rian Johnson Sued by Former Agent Over Star Wars Commissions

By
Rian Johnson. Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/2015 Getty Images

Star Wars: Episode VIII writer-director Rian Johnson has hit the level of fame where his name is preceded by the words "Star Wars: Episode VIII writer-director," but according to a lawsuit from his former agent Ben Dreyfuss, he literally hasn't paid his dues along the way. The suit, filed yesterday, alleges that Johnson owes Dreyfuss a commission for Star Wars VIII. Dreyfuss represented Johnson early in his career, through projects like Brick and Breaking Bad, and in the suit, he alleges that he helped set up early meetings in 2012 and 2014 between Johnson and Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy, though Johnson said he wasn't interested in a Star Wars project the time. Later in 2014, Johnson fired Dreyfuss and, in early 2015, took the Star Wars job. The suit claims that producer Ram Bergman pushed Johnson to cut out his former agent before signing on to the franchise. Dreyfuss's suit centers on the grounds of breach of implied contract and asks both for damages and for 10 percent of all commissionable projects, including Star Wars. Neither Bergman nor Johnson have commented on the story.