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April 24, 2018

Utah ranch owner sues for $2M damages after her property was left out of the credits of James Franco and Robert Duvall’s new western

  • Tamara Larsen is the owner of Riverbend Ranch Equestrian Center 
  • She claims Wild Horses filmed extensively at her facility and home
  • She was not paid but promised money for renovations and a credit
  • New lawsuit claims she has received neither
  • Larsen is now seeking $2 million for lost publicity 
  • Wild Horses was filmed on a low budget and panned by critics
  • It was written and directed by Robert Duvall, who also starred

The owner of an equestrian ranch in Utah is suing the makers of new James Franco and Robert Duvall movie Wild Horses for $2 million, alleging her property was used as part of the filming but not included in the final credits.

Tamara Larsen is suing for damages in Riverton, south of Salt Lake City, and filed the lawsuit September 11.

She runs the Riverbend Ranch Equestrian Center and claims the $2 million in damages is for lost publicity, with the people who see the crime-drama now unable to identify her center.

Larsen also wants an injunction requiring any further distribution of Wild Horses features her business in the credits, according to The Deseret News.

Larsen claims the movie filmed many scenes at her facility, as well as inside her home, which is also on the property, and that she was not compensated.

As part of a contract, she claims she was promised credit rights.

Her lawsuit also says she was guaranteed payment for renovations to the ranch following the filming.

The movie was released June 5 and was written and directed by Robert Duvall, who also starred in the flick alongside James Franco and Penny Dreadful star Josh Hartnett.

It follows a detective who opens a 15-year-old missing persons case and starts to suspect a local rancher, played by Duvall, murdered the child.

An additional 20 defendents who worked for California-based Wild Horses Productions, which was disbanded after the film wrapped, have been listed but not named.

‘During filming, (the ranch) was required to suspend certain operations, and Ms. Larsen was required to vacate her bedroom and other living areas,’ the lawsuit states.

‘Without compensation, Ms. Larsen appeared in a Wild Horses scene and spent money and hundreds of valuable hours preparing her home and yard as well as all (ranch) areas for filming.’

Wild Horses was made on a low budget and premiered at this year’s SXSW in March.

Duvall previously said that while the film is set in Texas, they ‘couldn’t afford’ to shoot in the state and so opted for Utah.

Before its premiere, the film was hit with a five-claim Breach of Contract complaint.

Deadline reported at the time that distributors Phase 4 Films claim that producer Michael Mendelsohn’s State of the Union Distribution and Collections last month reneged on a deal for the Toronto-based company to handle domestic duties for the film.

The deal that Phase 4 believed it had with financier Mendelsohn included ‘theatrical, VOD, digital, home video, and television distribution’ in the USA and Canada.