What could have been an impressive addition to Dan Auerbach’s Wikipedia page is probably going to wind up being a mildly depressing addition to his Wikipedia page. The Black Keys vocalist is currently being sued by the producers of a documentary about legendary blues musician Howlin’ Wolf, for which Auerbach was hired to direct and executive produce, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In a complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week, Smokestack Lightning Inc. contends that Auerbach drove up the costs of their film and subsequently dropped out prior to its completion, refusing to pay for the additional expenses he incurred.
After being interviewed for Smokestack Lightning: The Legendary Howlin’ Wolf—along with other prominent musicians like Jimmy Page, Buddy Guy, and Bill Wyman—Auerbach was apparently offered the chance to take over creative control of the project, which was at that point in post-production. The 37-year-old musician reportedly accepted the offer with a verbal agreement and “quickly demanded certain material alterations and vast expansions to the then existing Picture,” according to the complaint. These changes allegedly included reshoots, additional interviews, a new writer and “the adoption and use of an entirely new camera and filming format.”
Smokestack Lightning Inc. is seeking $100,000 in damages and restitution, which is bad news for Auerbach, who has yet to comment. The good news for us is that we’re probably getting a halfway decent documentary about Howlin’ Wolf sometime soon. Silver lining, you know?