Eva Green’s film project became a “Shakespearean farce,” the Supreme Court said

Making a botched sci-fi movie starring Bond girl Eva Green turned into a “Shakespearean farce,” the film’s producer has told the Supreme Court.

Casino Royale actress Ms Green was set to star in the dystopian thriller A Patriot, but production was halted in October 2019.

The 42-year-old is now suing production company White Lantern Film, claiming she is entitled to her one million dollar (£810,000) fee for the project despite the cancellation.

White Lantern Film is filing a counterclaim against the French actress, claiming she undermined the independent film’s production, made “excessive creative and financial demands” and had expectations that were “incompatible” with the film’s budget.

Max Mallin KC, for the production company, has claimed that a “plan” was devised between the actress, writer and director Dan Pringle and producer Adam Merrifield – reportedly described by the latter as “Operation Fake It!” – to secure her remuneration and make a separate film without the involvement of the project’s lender.

But on Thursday, the High Court in London heard from Mr Merrifield, who denied any attempt to undermine the production, and said his comment was a joke.

He said: “We had weeks and weeks to get to Black Hangar [the studios] and try to make this movie work.

The producer said there was a plan to move to a new production structure, with Mr Merrifield leaving the film, but it was unclear whether it had been put in place.

“At that point it had turned into a kind of Shakespearean farce,” he said, later adding, “There was nothing really to undermine.”

Eva Green legal action

Eva Green testified in the trial more than two days earlier (Yui Mok/PA).

The court previously heard that while the film was originally set to be shot in Ireland, filming was later moved to Black Hangar Studios outside London.

On Thursday, Harry Boyd – a first assistant director on the project who later resigned – said he visited the Hampshire studios about six weeks before shooting started.

He told the court: “It was like a mortuary. It should have been busier than this courtroom, with lots of people running around.”

In his written testimony, Mr Boyd – who has worked on projects including the 2021 Oscar-winning film Dune – said he had only seen three or four crew members working on another project.

“It was an aircraft hangar with leaks and no soundproofing,” he said, adding in his written evidence that he was “appalled” by the facilities.

Mr Boyd continued: “There was no doubt in my mind that Black Hangar was not fit to make a major motion picture. The facilities – costume, make-up, changing rooms etc – were not of a suitable level or size for a team to work out.”

Eva Green legal action

The case will end later this month with a written ruling at a later date (James Manning/PA).

Mr Mallin told Mr Boyd that he no longer visited the studio and so did not know if soundproofing had been installed.

Mr Boyd replied: “It would be difficult to do in four weeks and very, very costly.”

The assistant director said the amount of work required to prepare the production “would have taken eight weeks”, adding: “You can build a house in four weeks, but it can collapse in two weeks.”

Ms Green gave evidence on Tuesday and said she did not want to work with executive producer Jake Seal and his team, but would not have broken her contract.

In the lyrics used in White Lantern Film’s allegation, Ms. Green called Mr. Seal “evil”, a “cunning sociopath”, “pure vomit”, and “a liar and a lunatic”.

Mr Boyd, who has worked in film and television since 1990, told the court: “After dealing with Mr Seal… I found him to be quite crafty. I’ve been doing this for a long time and you kind of smell the rats.

“I felt that he was not doing his job as you would expect.”

The trial is expected to hear witnesses from Ms Green’s agent on Friday, with a ruling in the case expected at a later date.

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