Imagine getting cut from a movie and still getting sued for it?! That baffling scenario is what’s happening to Lena Headey, whose role in Thor: Love And Thunder is one of the many bits on the cutting room floor.
Unfortunately, her former agency doesn’t care one way or another if she’s in the film, just that she gets paid for it and pays them in return. According to Variety, UK agency YMU Drama (formerly known as Troika) has filed a lawsuit against Headey claiming she owes the agency at least $500,000 (7% of her fee) for her earnings on the Marvel movie. There are also allegedly unpaid commissions for at least $300,000 on her film 9 Bullets and $650,000 for Showtime dramedy series Rita, which didn’t even get picked up after Headey filmed a pilot.
Per Variety, the agency is “seeking an account of commission fees owed, an order for Headey to pay the fees, damages for breach of contract, interest and reimbursement of legal fees.”
For her part, Headey (who is also repped by CAA in the US) has argued that the agency wasn’t even involved in landing her the roles in 9 Bullets or Thor: Love And Thunder. (Apparently, director Taika Waititi approached her directly about appearing in the latter.) As for Rita, she claimed “she only ever received $325,000” for the single episode of the series she ever filmed, and “Troika has already been paid $22,750.”
Further, the actor asserted that she never signed a contract with the agency, which was founded by her longtime agent Michael Duff in 2005. (She left the agency when Duff departed in 2020.) Both parties were allegedly “acting on an oral agreement formed when Duff was still at Lou Carl Associates in the late 1990s.”
So, unless YMU can provide documents of a formal contract–and that contract proves the agency is owed money even for jobs it did not negotiate–it seems like a dubious case. The rest of us, meanwhile, will have to bear Headey being cut from the Thor with dignity. (#ReleaseTheHeadeyCut?)