Report: HBO, Gandolfini May Resume Talks

AP Wire Service

NEW YORK – “The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini and HBO are considering a deal to drop their dueling lawsuits and proceed with contract negotiations, a newspaper said Monday.

The dispute stems from a breach-of-contract lawsuit that Gandolfini, who plays mafia boss Tony Soprano on the award-winning series, filed against HBO in a Los Angeles court earlier this month.

The actor alleged that HBO missed a deadline for advising him that his services would be needed for a fifth season, which was scheduled to begin production next week.

The network has said the lawsuit was linked to Gandolfini’s demand for a salary increase.

HBO promptly fired back, filing a counterclaim against Gandolfini that would require the actor to settle his contract dispute or risk being liable for more than $100 million in damages.

Network executives involved in the negotiations told The New York Times that Gandolfini, who had previously sought a $20 million annual salary, has now lowered his request to about $16 million a year.