×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Original ‘Disaster Artist’ Screenwriter Claims James Franco Swindled Him

The original screenwriter on “The Disaster Artist” filed suit in L.A. Superior Court on Wednesday, claiming he was duped into selling his screenplay for just $5,000.

Ryan Moody says he was tapped by director James Franco in 2013 to adapt the book about the making of the cult film “The Room.” Moody had been a student in Franco’s film class at UCLA, and later served as his teaching assistant.

According to the suit, Moody worked full-time on the project between November 2013 and March 2014. He delivered five drafts to Franco’s company, Rabbit Bandini Productions, and Seth Rogen’s company, Point Grey Pictures, which produced the film.

In April 2014, Moody says he was told that Point Grey wanted to replace him with more established writers. Moody wanted to retain a writing credit, but Franco told him he would be credited as an associate producer. According to the suit, Franco encouraged him to work on Moody’s passion project, “On the Bus.”

“Hey,” Franco wrote in an email to Moody on April 2. “Seth and evan (Goldberg) and (James) weaver want you on as an assoc producer and to give notes on every draft. Cool? Get going on ‘on the bus,’ that’s yours.”

The suit alleges that Franco and his partners had no plan or intention of actually producing “On the Bus.” Moody alleges that he was told that the project would have a budget comparable to “The Disaster Artist,” in the range of $5-$10 million. He says he was also told that if he wanted to work with Rogen and Franco again, he would have to sign the agreement to sell the screenplay.

While he had reservations, he ultimately relented, turning over rights to the drafts for $5,000 and waiving all credit in the film, according to the suit. Only two years later was he told that “On the Bus” would have a budget of just $50,000.

“At that point, Moody realized that he had been played,” the suit alleges.

He found out that he did not receive any associate producer credit on the film only when it was released in December, according to the suit. The suit also notes there is at least one major similarity between Moody’s screenplay and the finished film. According to the suit, he wrote a climactic scene in which “Room” director Tommy Wiseau flees from the premiere, only to return in triumph once the audience’s initial derision gives way to laughter. The scene does not appear in the book, but does appear in the film.

Moody’s attorneys are seeking to rescind the purchase agreement, and to enforce an unsigned agreement by which he would have received the WGA minimum. He is also seeking damages and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Representatives for Rogen and Franco did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ryan Moody Disaster Artist by gmaddaus on Scribd

More Biz

  • Harvey Weinstein legal team

    Harvey Weinstein Loses Another Defense Lawyer

    Harvey Weinstein has lost another defense lawyer, just three months before he is set to go on trial for rape and sexual assault. Attorney Jose Baez told the judge overseeing the case that Weinstein had taken actions that made it difficult to represent him, according to a letter obtained by the New York Post. Baez [...]

  • https://pmcvariety.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/kindred_spirits_2019_v7.jpg

    Kindred Spirits Host Fundraiser for Child Refugees

    The Kids Entertainment Professionals for Young Refugees will host its third annual Kindred Spirits fundraising campaign this month on behalf of UNICEF and in coordination with World Refugee Day, which is Thursday. The grassroots, volunteer organization’s online fundraiser will take place from June 14-27, and 100% of every donation made will benefit UNICEF. “We call [...]

  • Vid Angel

    VidAngel Hit with $62.4 Million Judgment for Pirating Movies

    A jury on Monday ordered VidAngel to pay $62.4 million to Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. for streaming hundreds of movies on its service without permission. The verdict is potentially a death blow to the Utah-based company, which sought to allow family audiences to watch Hollywood fare while skipping past violence, sex, and other objectionable [...]

  • Nicholas Sparks

    Nicholas Sparks Apologizes, Explains Opposition to LGBT Club

    Romance writer Nicholas Sparks issued an apology on Monday for remarks he made in 2013 opposing the formation of an LGBT club at his Christian school. In an email published last week by the Daily Beast, Sparks faulted Saul Benjamin, who was then the headmaster of the Epiphany School of Global Studies, for pushing an [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 Production

    'Game of Thrones,' Netflix VFX Among Those to Be Featured in SIGGRAPH Production Talks

    VFX pros behind the final season of “Game of Thrones,” the blockbuster film “Avengers: Endgame,” Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story 4,” last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Netflix series, including “Stranger Things,” and more will give SIGGRAPH 2019 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at their work during the conference’s Production Sessions. There will even be a [...]

  • welcome home Apple Ad

    Cannes Lions Takes Place in Time of Change for Ad World

    The ad industry gathers June 17-21 for its annual celebration of commercials, marketing and creativity, the Cannes Lions in the French Riviera. It does so against a backdrop of ongoing and profound upheaval within the world of advertising. The share prices of all the major ad groups, such as WPP, Publicis and Omnicom, are down [...]

  • R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With

    R&B Singer Ann Marie Signs With Interscope Records (EXCLUSIVE)

    Chicago-based R&B singer-songwriter Ann Marie, known for her hit “Secret” with YK Osiris, has signed with Interscope Records, the company announced exclusively to Variety today. “Ann Marie is the prototype for today’s artist,” says Nicole Wyskoarko, the label’s EVP of urban operations. “She’s developed and cultivated a dedicated fan base using the tools of today [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content