Director Antoine Fuqua is being sued by a former collaborator for an alleged failure to credit or compensate the plaintiff for their contributions on “The Equalizer 3.”
In a 20-page document filed Monday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, Paul Lozada filed complaints for breach of oral contract, implied-in-fact contract, common counts and promissory fraud. A former San Francisco Police Department officer, Lozada had allegedly served as a consultant on previous Fuqua films such as “Training Day” and the first “Equalizer,” advising the productions on providing authenticity to their depictions of law enforcement and crime organizations.
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The complaint details the pair’s relationship during production on “The Equalizer 3,” alleging that Fuqua had asked Lozada to consult on the feature on matters such as the operations of the Italian mafia, drug trade shipping methods and the timeline of a forensic investigation of a murder scene.
Excerpts from alleged text conversations between Fuqua and Lozada are featured throughout the document, including Lozada’s efforts to reach the “Equalizer 3” set in Italy, under the impression that he is “part of team.” Fuqua also allegedly informed Lozada that an employee of Sony Pictures Entertainment would be in contact regarding compensation.
Soon after, Fuqua allegedly stopped communicating with Lozada. After the former collaborator sent a harshly worded message to the filmmaker, he allegedly received a response: “Not one thing in Equalizer had anything to do with you. Not one thing. You came to Rome, and I wanted you involved somehow. To help you. Not me… I have nothing but love and respect for you Paul. But I don’t Owe you anything.”
Lozada’s lawsuit emerges as “The Equalizer 3,” starring Denzel Washington, opens in theaters this Friday. Representatives for Fuqua and Sony Pictures Entertainment, the film’s distributor, did not immediately respond to request for comment.
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