Oh Hi Mark! Tommy Wiseau loses The Room lawsuit and has to pay up $700K

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

Well, this is no laughing matter. Tommy Wiseau, the infamous director of 2003's so bad it's good cult classic, THE ROOM, has been ordered to pay $700,000 to the makers of the documentary about his movie.

According to the ruling, in which Ontario Superior Court Judge Paul Schabas ruled in favor of Richard Harper, Fernando Forero McGrath, Mark Racicot, and Richard Towns, Wiseau must pay $550,000 in compensatory damages, plus $140,000 in punitive damages. The parties involved were the filmmakers behind ROOM FULL OF SPOONS, which was originally intended for release in 2017, around the time that THE DISASTER ARTIST was arriving in theaters. Apparently Wiseau got in the way by filing a lawsuit ahead of the documentary's release in 2017, alleging that the filmmaker's violated his copyright by using clips of THE ROOM. The judge disagreed and had this to say in his ruling:

"This information was available from public sources, which is how the defendants obtained and confirmed it. Wiseau may be sensitive about this information because he has cultivated an aura of mystery around it, but disclosure of these facts is not, objectively speaking, something which can be described as 'highly offensive.'"

Now that the lawsuit is over, the filmmakers are now looking to a distribution plan for their documentary which will likely involve a streaming service. In a statement shared on the movie's official website, it's clear that they hope to get the film released soon but still need to sort a few things out:

"There's a lot to get sorted of course…If we can ask a favor: please give us a bit of time to get everything in order. We absolutely want to get this film out ASAP, but please understand we want to do it the right way, which sometimes takes a moment. We'll keep our supporters in the loop as we move forward."

According to reports, via "Variety" Wiseau behaved erratically during the trial and caused delays by failing to show up to court on the first day. This only adds to a bizarre, but enthralling journey for the offbeat director that turned a truly bad film like THE ROOM into a midnight-movie favorite. The film regularly plays at well-attended showings and his story was so interesting that actor James Franco helmed THE DISASTER ARTIST, a movie that chronicles the unlikely friendship between Wiseau and Greg Sestero that resulted in the infamous 2003 film. THE DISASTER ARTIST was well-received, with James Franco winning Best Actor – Musical or Comedy at the 75th Golden Globe Awards and the film itself scoring a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination at the 90th Academy Awards. The success of THE DISASTER ARTIST put a spotlight on Wiseau and kind of made him the toast of the town as the film was riding the awards circuit. In the end, his 2003 disaster made him the star he wanted to be and this latest chapter of his saga will likely give him more stories to tell.

What are YOUR thoughts on Tommy Wiseau?

Source: Variety

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