Smokestack Lightning Inc., the company producing a documentary on famed blues singer Howlin’ Wolf, filed a lawsuit against the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach on August 17th in Los Angeles County Superior Court, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Smokestack Lightning alleges that Auerbach violated “a verbal agreement” along with “the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” The rocker is also accused of engaging in “unfair business practices and negligent misrepresentation.” The suit asks for $100,000 in compensation.
A representative for Auerbach did not immediately return a request for comment.
THR reports that Auerbach was originally involved with Smokestack Lightning: The Legendary Howlin’ Wolf as a talking head, discussing Wolf’s influence and legacy alongside Jimmy Page, Buddy Guy and Bill Wyman. Following Auerbach’s interview, the company reportedly asked him to take on a more prominent role in the project, serving as director and executive producer.
The company claims that Auerbach agreed to come on board at the price of 9 percent of profits and total control over the movie when it was already in post-production. According to the lawsuit, “[Auerbach] quickly demanded certain material alterations and vast expansions to the then-existing picture,” such as “the adoption and use of an entirely new camera and filming format.” Supposedly he also pushed to add more interviews to the movie, bring on a new writer and license copyrighted Howlin’ Wolf photos.
Smokestack Lightning Inc. alleges that Auerbach eventually walked away from the project, leaving the company to cover the costly changes he had demanded.