As MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY and Penelope Cruz's SAHARA raced into cinemas yesterday (08APR05), the author whose book inspired the film hatched plans to sue bosses for as much as $90 million (GBP47.3 million).

Bestselling author Clive Cussler has been waging a very public war against film-makers for almost a year, accusing them of breaching agreements made on the project.

His attorney BERT FIELDS says, "They promised Mr Cussler approval of the script. He wanted to protect his book. They departed fundamentally from the screenplays that he approved."

Fields filed a breach of contract suit on Cussler's behalf, prompting the film's producers to countersue claiming sabotage.

Cussler and Fields flirted with the possibility of trying to legally block the film's release, but decided against it, opting to battle it out in court instead.

Fields, who anticipates the case will go to trial in November (05), tells American TV show CELEBRITY JUSTICE, "We intend to take the matter to trial and fully litigate it. I wanna get these people in front of a jury."

But director Breck Eisner remains hopeful that Cussler will approve of the finished product, stating, "I think he's gonna love it, I really do. We stayed true to the spirit of the books. I really can't wait for him to see it."

The monetary sum Cussler sues for will depend on the film's boxoffice performance.

09/04/2005 02:24