ACTRESS Eva Green could be "unrealistic” in wanting expensive staff for a film that was later scrapped but was “committed” to the project, its Bournemouth director told a court.

The Casino Royale star is accused of making “excessive creative and financial demands” which were “incompatible” with the budget of the film A Patriot, which was shut down in October 2019.

She is suing production company White Lantern Films (Britannica) Limited, claiming she is entitled to her one million dollar (£810,000) fee.

The company is bringing a counterclaim, alleging she undermined the production.

As previously reported, Bournemouth-based writer-director Dan Pringle and producer Adam Merrifield were ousted from the company they had set up to make the film and which is now involved in the case with Ms Green.

In his witness statement, Mr Pringle said Ms Green was “our first choice for the role” in the thriller, which was also due to star Charles Dance and Helen Hunt.

He said the proposed budget had been reduced from the 10million dollars (£8million) discussed with Ms Green to 5.3m euros (£4.6m).

Mr Pringle said in his written evidence: “We were also seeking talented people and Eva had her own high standards. This was the cause of a certain amount of frustration for all of us.

“There came a point where I considered that we may have to lower our sights to those with experience at slightly lower budget levels, and with less pedigree in our specific genre, however Eva desired that we keep pushing to secure those meeting our initial requirements.”

He added: “I didn’t know her well enough to know how serious she was being with some of her suggestions.”

His written evidence continued: “I think it is fair to say that Eva was at times a little unrealistic about some of her suggestions of heads of departments/key crew because the individuals were either too high-profile and/or too expensive for an independent production of our kind with a second-time director making a significant leap up.”

But he said the star "was prepared to approve realistic candidates that the production could afford".

Questioned by Mr Mallin, Mr Pringle said he did not think that asking for specific crew members was a breach of contract. He said Ms Green had shown she “was committed to this film in a way that goes beyond just being an actress”.

Mr Mallin had earlier cited exchanges with her agent and Mr Pringle in which Ms Green called executive producer Jake Seal “the devil”, production manager Terry Bird as a “moron” and local crew members as “peasants … from Hampshire”.

However, Mr Pringle said: “The peasants comment doesn’t necessarily relate to Jake’s staff at Black Hangar [Studios], it’s a comment about crewing from the local population. It’s a comment about whether Jake was going to hire people who knew the roles.”

The nine-day trial continues.