Russian property tycoon Sergei Polonsky plans on slapping US filmmaker 20th Century Fox with a $1 billion lawsuit for showing a villain based on him in its new movie.
The Russian movie, "Neulovimiye" ("Elusive"), hit the theatres this week. It is the remake of a 1966 Soviet movie, set in the present time. It narrates the story of a rich and callous businessman named Sergei Polyansky who flees the scene after hitting a young woman with his car on a Moscow street.
Polonsky was upset that in addition to the similarity between his and the character's names, the movie also featured an actor whose physical attributes also resembled the tycoon's. The film's villain sported the real-life businessman's distinctive shock of curly brown hair. "We are preparing a claim against 20th Century Fox in America. We already have a lawyer working on it," Polonsky told BFM. "I won't comment on the grounds for the lawsuit, but we are preparing a claim for $1 billion."
When the producers were asked about this lawsuit, they shrugged off the accusations of deliberately basing the character on Polonsky."This character is based on various individuals," said producer Ivan Kapitonov. "[Polonsky] can go ahead and file his lawsuit."
Polonsky was considered to be one of Russia's largest property developers, until he was accused of embezzling millions of dollars from shareholders in residential development projects in Moscow, in 2013. Over the last few years, Polonsky has also been involved in several litigations in Russia. But before he could be charged for his crimes, he moved to Cambodia and was reportedly granted citizenship in that country, The Associated Press reported. Cambodia refused to extradite Polonsky to Russia later.