Entertainment & Arts

Richard Dreyfuss sues Disney over What About Bob?

Richard Dreyfuss Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Richard Dreyfuss played an egotistical psychiatrist in What About Bob? - the 19th biggest film of 1991

Actor Richard Dreyfuss has taken legal action against Walt Disney Pictures over his slice of profits made from the 1991 film What About Bob?.

The case also involves Christine Wagner, whose late husband produced Tom Hanks' 1989 film Turner and Hooch.

Both parties have said Disney has refused demands to allow their chosen auditors access to its financial records.

The legal papers have criticised film studio accounting practices in general.

Papers filed by Dreyfuss and Ms Wagner's lawyer Neville Johnson have been published online by The Hollywood Reporter.

They claim Disney has made it "exceedingly difficult for profit participants to retain the best possible representation and be paid the monies they are due."

The papers claim their chosen auditing firm Robinson Inc, which they say specialises in Hollywood cases, is "tough, tenacious, and gets results".

But they say Disney has instead asked for the audit to be done by one of the nationally recognised "big four" accounting firms.

Dreyfuss co-starred with Bill Murray in What About Bob?, which the legal papers state was the 19th biggest film of 1991, taking more than $63.7m (£43.5m) at the US box office alone.

Wagner says she is entitled to 50% of Turner and Hooch net profits, which starred Hanks as a detective took $167m (£114m) worldwide.

The paper have accused film studios of making auditing "as onerous as possible" and claim the wait to examine books at Disney is an "inexcusable and outrageous" three years.

The legal papers claim: "It's a one-sided world where corporations assert their control over talent who do not have the leverage to otherwise protect themselves.

"What Disney has done is reduce an already very small pool of auditors to a nearly non-existent puddle, and made it exceedingly difficult for profit participants to retain the best possible representation and be paid the monies they are due."

Related Topics