“Game of Thrones” star Lena Headey is being sued for $1.5 million by her former U.K. agency Troika over unpaid commission fees relating to a number of projects including the upcoming film “Thor: Love and Thunder.”
Troika, which re-branded as YMU in 2020, claims Headey owes the agency at least $500,000 — equivalent to 7% of her fee — for her earnings on the Marvel movie.
Africanglitz can confirm that Headey does not appear in the final cut of “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. The film is set for release next week.
Reps for Headey and Marvel did not reply to Africanglitz’s requests for comment by publication time.
According to court documents, Headey joined Troika in 2005 after following her personal rep, Michael Duff, there from his previous agency Lou Carl Associates.
Duff co-founded Troika, which in 2017 merged with the James Grant Group. In 2018 the agency was acquired by a private equity firm and re-branded as YMU. Duff left Troika/YMU in early 2020 and Headey left the agency in May of that year.
Headey found much wider recognition when she starred with Matt Damon and Heath Ledger in Terry Gilliam‘s adventure fantasy film The Brothers Grimm (2005), as Angelika, whose woodsman father was transformed into a werewolf by the Evil Queen. She was drawn to the “tomboy” nature of her character, about which she stated: “She lives and grows up and survives in the forest. Terry and I talked about how her instincts are almost animalistic and she can see 360 degrees around her. She is aware of what is going on. That is how she is grounded. She is of the earth”. The Brothers Grimm received mixed reviews and made US$105.3 million worldwide
However, Troika/YMU claims that under the terms of their agreement Headey still owes the agency commission fees on a number of projects including “Thor: Love and Thunder” as well as at least $300,000 on the film “9 Bullets,” in which Headey starred alongside Sam Worthington in a lead role, and $650,000 for Showtime dramedy series “Rita,” an adaptation of a Danish series of the same name.
Headey was set to play the titular Rita character, but the show didn’t secure a series order beyond its pilot episode.
Troika are 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.
In her defense, Headey claims she never signed any contract with Troika or with Duff, and that both parties were acting on an oral agreement formed when Duff was still at Lou Carl Associates in the late 1990s. Her filings also point out that Troika was never Headey’s sole agent, as she is also represented by CAA in the U.S.
More specifically, Headey disputes that Troika has any claim to the commission on “Thor: Love and Thunder” — which she says came about after director Taika Waititi approached her directly — or “9 Bullets,” neither of which were negotiated by Troika or Duff. Meanwhile on “Rita,” Headey says she only ever received $325,000 for the pilot episode, of which Troika has already been paid $22,750, and that “no further episodes are planned.”
A rep for YMU did not reply to Variety by press time. Lawyers for Headey and YMU also did not respond by press time.