‘Oh hai, lawsuit’: Tommy Wiseau ordered to pay $700k to filmmakers

Written by Film

Tommy Wiseau’s life continues to be an area of fascination, now being ordered to pay roughly $700,000 to the filmmakers of Room Full of Spoons (2016), a documentary surrounding the life of Wiseau and his infamous cult film, The Room (2003).

The lawsuit comes after years of Wiseau attempting to prevent the release of the documentary, which has allegedly presented an unflattering depiction of Wiseau’s character, as well as disclosing his real place of origins, name, and age. Wiseau had also claimed that the documentary had incorporated unlicensed clips from The Room, with Wiseau reportedly demanding “excessive sums” of money to cover it.

The ruling comes from Judge Paul Schabas from the Canadian court, where the filmmakers and the documentary originated. Schabas, who oversaw the trial in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice since it began in January 2020, stated (in relation to disclosure of Wiseau’s notoriously secretive past) that:

“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.’”

Additionally, Judge Schabas has stated that Wiseau “behaved erratically” throughout the trial, even refusing to answer questions while on the stand. The $700,000 fine is comprised of a $550,000 imbursement for the loss of total revenue, as well as $200,000 Canadian dollars in “punitive damages.”

The documentary had originally been scheduled close to 2017’s The Disaster Artist – a film adapted from Greg Sestero’s synonymous autobiography that documented his growing relationship with Wiseau and the filming of The Room – to capitalise on the public interest of the lore of The Room. As such, the loss of total revenue figure would likely have been much higher had the Room Full of Spoons made its initial release date.

As far as Tommy Wiseau’s career goes, his second directorial feature – Big Shark – has been delayed for the foreseeable future. Last year, a teaser trailer had been released for the shark flick, as well as a late 2019 release date, but was unable to make it due to hold backs in the production. Big Shark has been written, directed and produced by Wiseau, with Wiseau, Greg Sestero and Isaiah LaBorde also set to star.

Last modified: 13th May 2020

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