MGM Axes Basic Instinct 2; Stone Sues

Basic Instinct 2 has received an ice pick to the heart.

MGM has axed the sequel to the 1992 blockbuster, a move that possibly everyone but leading lady Sharon Stone saw coming. The thriller had struggled to get off the ground since its inception, with several production delays, a directing switcheroo, and a slew of male stars who were either rejected by Stone or simply not interested in the part.

Stone is now suing BI2's producers, saying they reneged on a $14 million commitment to her, Daily Variety reported today. The actress was set with a pay-or-play deal (meaning she would receive her hefty paycheck whether the movie got made or not), but she says producers Andy Vajna and Mario Kassar are claiming they never had a contract with Stone.

The decision to yank BI2 was unveiled when MGM Chairman and CEO Alex Yemenidjian told investors at a conference that the project was off. "Unfortunately, it's not going to happen," Variety quoted Yemenidjian as saying. He declined to explain the reasons for the studio's decision.

Stone's suit alleges that she stood to gain as much as 15 percent of gross receipts from reprising her role as ice-pick-wielding author-seductress Catherine Trammel. The original 1992 movie, which co-starred Michael Douglas, grossed $400 million worldwide.

Under the agreement described in the suit, shooting was to have begun by the end of last year but was pushed back to Feb. 15, Variety said. Vajna and Kassar declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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