Anschutz The Movie Maker

Anschutz Entertainment Group chief Philip Anschutz, who has suffered a few unkind words from critics for his forays into Hollywood moviemaking, got some comeuppance February 27th with an Oscar for the Ray Charles biopic, “Ray.”

The movie, which picked up six Academy Award nominations and a win for best actor Jamie Foxx, would likely never have been made without the Denver billionaire’s persistence – and $35 million in financing.

Anschutz Film Group has been less successful in previous attempts at creating family-friendly fare, most notably last year’s “Around the World in 80 Days.” But a little Oscar glow goes a long, long way.

Meanwhile, Clive Cussler, the author of the novel on which the upcoming film “Sahara” is based, is reportedly suing Bristol Bay Productions – an Anschutz company – for allegedly ignoring the writer’s disapproval of the movie’s final script.

A spokesman for Anschutz Film Group confirmed to Pollstar that there has been a suit filed, but declined to comment further.

According to published reports in the U.S. and United Kingdom, Cussler is asking for $10 million plus damages, claiming he had the right of final script approval but that Bristol Bay, as producer, made the film even though he rejected it.

Anschutz’s latest film project, “Because of Winn Dixie,” is already in limited release.