Just when Leonardo DiCaprio thought he had clear skies ahead as his Aviator takes off, a lawsuit may have temporarily clouded the star's Christmas comeback.
A producer of the 1996 indie flick Don's Plum sued the star in a Los Angeles court Friday. And for good measure, the plaintiff also sued DiCaprio's buddy and Don's Plum costar, Tobey Maguire.
The producer, John Schindler, claims DiCaprio and Maguire have conspired to block the film's release in the United States. The much contested but little seen film, which also costars Six Feet Under's Jeremy Sisto, Buffy's Amber Benson, Entourage's Kevin Connolly and Dazed and Confused's (and wife of Beck) Marissa Ribisi is currently only available overseas.
Per Shindler's suit, Leo and Tobey "put the word out that they were opposed to any distribution of Don's Plum" once their fame was on the rise.
DiCaprio and Maguire teamed up this past August to sue Shindler, claiming they never intended the film to have a commercial release.
The stars previously settled a lawsuit with another Don's Plum producer, David Stutman, who similarly alleged the two schemed behind the scenes to kill the film's chances of ever making it to the multiplex. Stutman sued the actors in 1998 before eventually settling with DiCaprio and Maguire in 1999.
But neither DiCaprio nor Maguire has settled with Schindler, who told E! Online in September that the two have selective memories of what happened back in in the mid-'90s, when Don's Plum was filmed.
"The story that Don's Plum was never intended to be made public is just that--a story," Schindler said.
"Although they first heard of the project when it was conceived of as a short, I personally explained to both Leo and Tobey and the rest of the cast and crew before the first shoot that my intention was for this to be a real commercial film," says the producer.
DiCaprio and Maguire have maintained since 1998 that they only agreed to act in the low-budget art house film as a "favor to a friend" to be shown strictly on private reels and the festival circuit, that they never wanted the movie to come out.
Per Schindler's suit, he alleges the Aviator star and his Spider-Man cohort have "wrongfully denied that the film was intended for commercial purposes." Further, Schindler asserts, they "continue to block efforts to distribute the film."
Representatives for DiCaprio and Maguire could not be reached for immediate comment.
For his part, Schindler told E! Online he wants to resolve the conflict soon, one way or another.
"What I am trying to do is get artistic satisfaction by editing the film as it should have been edited, to recover our investments, and to see that the actors and crew finally get paid" he said.