WME & ‘La La Land’ Composer Justin Hurwitz Settle Fraud Suit Over Alleged Agency Self-Dealing

EXCLUSIVE: To utilize an old colloquialism, the fat lady has finally sung in the legal drama between WME and La La Land composter Justin Hurwitz.

Over two years after Oscar winner Hurwitz sued his ex-agency for fraud over a touring “live-to-film concert” of the Damien Chazelle-directed movie, the parties have settled.

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The agreement is confidential, and the size of the payout to Hurwitz has not been disclosed.

“The parties are happy to report that they have resolved their differences,” WME said today in a statement to Deadline. Hurwitz’s team did not respond to request for comment on the settlement.

Hurwitz and WME were singing a very different tune back in 2020, when the animosity between the composer and his agency was palpable.

Putting self-dealing at the fore, and invoking the tainted name of packaging, lawyer Bryan Freeman wrote in the January 10, 2022 fraud and breach of contract complaint: “This action stems from WME’s shocking conduct, whereby the talent agency sought to squeeze extra profit out of its client, the renowned composer Justin Hurwitz, behind his back in violation of its ethical and fiduciary duties to him.”

At the time, with WME’s response that the claims were “without merit,” it seemed like a messy courtroom showdown was the likely outcome.

Clearly that did not end up becoming the case.

With Hurwitz now at CAA and in charge of the La La Land In Concert series since September 2023, talks between the Endeavor-owned WME and the composer have been going on for almost a year. In fact, last August, it looked like something was up.

That’s when Hurwitz’s attorney Freedman filed for a dismissal of his client’s own lawsuit. In the document in the LA Superior Court docket, the plaintiff requested the dismissal “without prejudice” – – which means Hurwitz could have brought the case back if he chooses to.

That dismissal filing by Freedman for Hurwitz came about a month after the initial case was supposed to go to trial. A trial that was pushed forward on the calendar and then pulled off the calendar obviously.

A frequent collaborator with Chazelle, Hurwitz took home Academy Awards in 2017 for Best Original Score and Best Original Song with “City of Stars” for the Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling starring La La Land.

More recently, as this battle with WME over the live La La has played out, Hurwitz was nominated for an Oscar last year for his Babylon score. The composer repeated his La La Land Golden Globes win with victories at the ex-HFPA run ceremony for 2018’s First Man and 2022’s early Hollywood bacchanalia Babylon.

Hurwitz’s latest La La Land Live tour begins on July 19 in Tenerife, Spain and continues until February 16, 2025 in Seattle, with stops in San Francisco and LA along the way.

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