Russian tycoon Sergei Polonsky, famous for his checkered past, intends to sue U.S. filmmaker 20th Century Fox for $1 billion because a new movie's villain bears a suspicious resemblance to him, business radio BFM reported Thursday.
The Russian-language movie, "Neulovimiye" ("Elusive"), released in theaters this week, tells the story of a rich and callous businessman named Sergei Polyansky who flees the scene after hitting a young woman with his car on a Moscow street.
In addition to the similarity of their full names, Polonsky and Polyansky share certain physical attributes, with the film villain sporting the real-life businessman's distinctive shock of curly brown hair.
"We are preparing a claim against 20th Century Fox in America. We already have a lawyer working on it," Polonsky told BFM. "I won't comment on the grounds for the lawsuit, but we are preparing a claim for $1 billion."
BFM cited the film's producer, Ivan Kapitonov, as saying that the filmmakers had not meant to offend anyone and that the character combined elements of various people.
Polonsky, a former real estate tycoon who reportedly lives on his own private island in Cambodia, is wanted in Russia on suspicion of embezzling more than $100 million from shareholders in residential development projects in Moscow.
Last year Cambodia's supreme court refused to send him back to Russia because the two countries do not have an extradition agreement, The Associated Press reported.
Polonsky earlier served three months in jail in Cambodia after being accused of locking a group of local sailors in the hold of a yacht during a New Year's party. He was released after reportedly reaching a financial settlement with the sailors.