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Black Keys frontman sued over Howlin Wolf documentary

By | Published on Wednesday 24 August 2016

The Black Keys

Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach is being sued over claims that he breached an agreement when he quit his role working on a documentary about blues musician Howlin Wolf after he’d pushed the project over budget.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a lawsuit filed by the production company behind the film, Smokestack Lightning Inc, says that it approached Auerbach to take on the roles of director and executive producer of ‘Smokestack Lightning: The Legendary Howlin Wolf’ after he was interviewed for the documentary. Even though the project was already in post-production, Auerbach agreed to get involved, but demanded full creative control over the venture, it is claimed.

From this point, Auerbach “quickly demanded certain material alterations and vast expansions to the then existing picture”, says the lawsuit. He wanted certain interviews reshot, new interviews added, more photographs licensed, a new writer, a new camera and a different filming format. All of which nudged the budget up out of the production company’s comfort zone.

If Smokestack Lightning Inc ever complained about the spiralling budget, it is claimed, Auerbach or his people threatened that he would pull out of the project. Which he then did anyway.

The company is seeking damages of no less than $100,000, accusing Auerbach of breach of a verbal agreement as well as unfair business practices and negligent misrepresentation.

Auerbach has not commented on the lawsuit as yet.