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Bruce Willis Seeks Payment From Sobieski Vodka Deal

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Bruce Willis at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival opening night gala premiere of
Bruce Willis at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival opening night gala premiere of "Looper" (AP)

When Bruce Willis licensed his image to Polish vodka brand Sobieski for marketing in the U.S., he was paid in shares of its parent company, Belvedere SA. In exchange for use of his tough guy mug, the "Looper" star got a percentage of the French liquor company.

But Willis' legal team also arranged for a cash payment in case shares of the company fell below a certain threshold. And since they did, Belvedere SA now owes Bruce Willis more than $26 million dollars, the Wall Street Journal reports.

But despite the deal's multi-million dollar potential, Willis might stand to lose money. His lawyers and other creditors will likely discuss the deal at a meeting in Paris on Tuesday.

Visit the Wall Street Journal for more details about the deal (paywall follows).

Upstart quipped that Willis "should have taken a page from entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel" and made his own vodka. The former "Real Housewives of New York City" star launched the Skinnygirl margaritas brand, then sold it to Jim Beam for an undisclosed, ostensibly large, sum.

And it's been done before: Dan Aykroyd's Crystal Head vodka caused a splash when it was released.

In his new movie, "Looper," Willis is a futuristic assassin that goes back in time to eliminate his younger self, played -- convincingly, it would seem -- by a prematurely grizzled Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Correction: A previous version of this article mistook Belvedere SA, the French liquor company that owns Sobieski, for Belvedere vodka, a brand that is owned by Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy.

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