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The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach Sued Over Howlin’ Wolf Documentary

By Annie Reuter

The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach is facing legal troubles regarding a documentary on Chicago blues icon Howlin’ Wolf he was contracted to direct. The complaint was filed last Wednesday in a Los Angeles County Superior Court, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Related: Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach Regrets Inducting Steve Miller into Rock Hall

The film’s producer Smokestack Lightning Inc. claims that Auerbach increased the costs of the documentary and then bailed on the project. The film, Smokestack Lightning: The Legendary Howlin’ Wolf, aims to tell the story of Chester Arthur Burnett alongside interviews with musicians including Auerbach, Jimmy Page, Buddy Guy and Bill Wyman.

Smokestack Lightning Inc. allegedly agreed that Auerbach would be the director and executive producer in exchange for nine percent of the profits, and that he would have complete creative control.

“[Auerbach] quickly demanded certain material alterations and vast expansions to the then existing picture,” the complaint states.

The film company says Auerbach left before the project was finished, and as a result, Smokestack is suing him for “breach of a verbal agreement and of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unfair business practices and negligent misrepresentation.”

The producer is seeking damages of $100,000.


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