Film Fridays – James Franco settles ‘The Disaster Artist’ lawsuit from former student

James Franco has settled a lawsuit filed last year by a former student who said he wrote several early drafts of “The Disaster Artist.”

Ryan Moody filed suit in March, alleging that he was swindled into giving up the rights to his work for just $5,000. Moody sued Franco’s company, Rabbit Bandini Productions, and Seth Rogen’s company, Point Grey Pictures, which produced the film.

“The lawsuit has been resolved,” Moody’s attorney, Brian Grossman, told Variety on Monday. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Moody met Franco as a student in his UCLA film class. According to the suit, Franco asked him in 2013 to adapt the book about the making of the cult film “The Room.” Moody alleged that he worked full-time on the project for four months, ultimately delivering five drafts of the screenplay.

Moody said that Point Grey wanted to replace him with more experienced writers, so he reluctantly agreed to sign away his right to his work. Moody alleged that Franco and his partners promised to develop another project, “On the Bus,” which never got off the ground. He also alleged that he was told if he did not cooperate, then he would never work with Franco and Rogen again.

He said he was promised an associate producer credit, and only learned when the film was released that he did not get any credit.

The defendants’ attorneys argued that Moody was simply seeking to undo a valid agreement, and that he was not misled into signing the contract. They sought to dismiss the suit under the California anti-SLAPP statute.

– Excerpt from an article written by Gene Maddaus for Variety. Find the full article here

 

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