Sunday, September 01, 2013

Dan Bilzerian's Files 'Lone Survivor' Lawsuit over Slashed Movie Role

Dan Bilzerian pimping Victory
Poker on the red carpet.
California poker playboy Dan Blitz" Bilzerian is back in the news, this time courtesy of a lawsuit he's filed against the makers of the upcoming action thriller Lone Survivor, in which Bilzerian's purchased role in the film was largely cut from the product that filmgoers will see when the movie is released in December.

According to a story in the Hollywood Reporter, which includes a link to the complaint filed by Bilzerian's attorney on Thursday, ol' Blitz loaned the film's producers, Randall Emmett and George Furla, a million dollars of advance production money in exchange for a significant secondary role in the film.  Lone Survivor, which will star Mark Wahlberg, is adapted from the true story of a failed 2005 Navy SEALS mission targeting a Taliban chief in which all but one of the SEAL team's members was killed.

Bilzerian is well known in poker circles along with his brother Adam as the rich poker-playing kids of self-made multi-millionaire Paul Bilzerian, signed a very specific agreement regarding his role in the film, which was supposed to include eight minutes of "recognizable" screen time and at least 80 words of dialogue.

Instead, according to the complaint, Bilzerian was on screen for less than a minute and had one spoken line, everything else hitting the cutting-room floor.  Bilzerian discovered what he alleges was a breach of the contract for the "loan" in late June, when he was allowed to privately screen the film.  His agreement called for him to receive specific refunds in case his role was trimmed, but Emmett and Furla never repaid him, prompting the suit.

In addition to the million-dollar "loan", Bilzerian alleges he is due $200,000 in interest penalties, lawyers fees, and unspecified damages.

Movie buffs will have to wait another few months to see why Blitz's role as "Sr. Chief Dan Healy" was trimmed so drastically, just as news of whether this was done by the film's producers or by distributing studio Universal Pictures remains unclear.  In any event, Bilzerian's attempt to buy himself a small film career seems to be as busto.  Bilzerian first came into public poker knowledge in 2009 when both he and brother Adam ran deep into the cash in the WSOP main event, and since then, Dan in particular has had a knack for making weird headlines, in addition to being a minor sponsored pro for the short-lived Victory Poker site.

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