Brett Daniels has filed a federal lawsuit when his co-creators left him no option but to threaten legal action in order to get out of Venezuela.
Daniels is the co-creator of The Illusionists, which has been reported as the highest selling magic show in Broadway history.
“However, after using Daniels’ expertise, contacts, and efforts to get the show off the ground, and after the Show began to achieve international success, Defendants cut Daniels out of the Show and refused to pay him his contractually guaranteed share of the Total Act Fees from at least November of 2013 to the present,” states the complaint. “Further, Defendants continue to use Daniels’ proprietary copyrighted illusions in the Show without Daniels’ approval or consent.”
One of the illusions in question is a vehicle appearance, created in 1993. Daniels registered the choreography and stage direction with the U.S. Copyright Office, and it is believed that this effect helped to propel the show, which is now a hit and touring worldwide.
In the Summer of 2013, The Illusionists was due to do a South America Tour.
“Specifically, in July of 2013, Defendants insisted that Daniels and the performers in the Show travel to Venezuela for a final set of performances after what was supposed to be the end of the South American tour in Brazil, despite Venezuela being a non-contracted location which was never agreed upon prior to the start of the tour,” says the complaint. “Defendants’ insistence on such performances of the Show was unreasonable, as Venezuela was an extremely unstable environment for the production of the Show.”
Daniels says the performance never occurred.
“Instead, the Venezuelan government seized the Show, the venue, and all of its stage equipment prior to the Show’s first performance and was holding all such assets under armed guard. This included Daniels’ equipment, which was the largest, most intricate, and most valuable of any other performer in the Show.”
You can read the full news article at the Hollywood Reporter:
In a federal lawsuit, professional magician Brett Daniels says he has a trick to make vehicles like an antique horse and carriage appear out of thin air, but needed to resort to legal threats in order to get out of Venezuela.
The full 34 page lawsuit can be viewed here:
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