The Brett Leonard-directed sports drama Triumph landed in Cinemark Theatres this month, but star Terrence Howard says the producers didn’t get his consent to release the film.
TMZ reports that the actor’s legal team sent a cease and desist letter to Cinemark, Digital Ignition Entertainment, and Argonaut Entertainment. In the letter, Howard has alleged that his name, image, and likeness are featured in the film without his permission. It’s worth pointing out that Howard doesn’t just star in the film, which is led by Breaking Bad actor RJ Mitte, as he is also listed as an executive producer.
The letter claims that Howard’s role in the project was “conditioned upon the satisfaction of material monetary and non-monetary promises made by the producers, which never happened.” His attorneys additionally cite that the producers were aware they couldn’t put the film into theaters until they had a signed release from Howard, but it debuted in Cinemark locations across the country on April 30 regardless. The letter threatens that Howard could take legal action if the producers feature him in “distribution, advertising, promotion, and/or exhibition of Triumph in any matter.”
Triumph was first announced in 2019. The film follows RJ Mitte’s character as a teen with cerebral palsy, while Howard portrays his wrestling coach. Last month, per the Hollywood Reporter, it was announced Triumph was coming to theaters due to a partnership between United Cerebral Palsy and Cinemark Theatres.
“The producers made this film with a mission to help advance awareness of cerebral palsy and to do our part to promote inclusion in film," said Digital Ignition Entertainment in a statement. "We couldn’t be more proud of the job our cast and crew did to highlight the remarkable accomplishments of the writer of the film, who has Cerebral Palsy, and the lead actor of the film, RJ Mitte, who is also diagnosed with cerebral palsy."