James Franco’s problems just became legal – a former student is suing the actor for alleged breach of contract.
The movie star is still reeling from several allegations of sexual misconduct following his Golden Globes Best Actor win in January (18), and now he’s under fire for reportedly failing to credit a wannabe screenwriter he taught at UCLA in Los Angeles.
Ryan Moody claims he was working as Franco’s unofficial teaching assistant in a UCLA English class when the actor invited him to write a screen adaptation of the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, according to Deadline.
Moody alleges he was paid $5,000 for his work on the script and stripped of a credit on the Oscar-nominated film.
He also claims he didn’t receive an associate producer’s credit he was promised.
In a lawsuit filed on Wednesday (28Feb18), Moody also names Franco’s production partners at RabbitBandini and Point Grey among the defendants, accusing them of having no intention of giving him a credit, but made the offer to secure the rights to his screenplay for “far less than fair market value”.
The film’s script, credited to Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, is nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar this weekend (04Mar18).
Moody reportedly befriended Franco in 2012 after enrolling in the actor’s Adaptation and Collaboration UCLA class. He went on to direct the 127 Hours star in a pair of student shorts and claims his work impressed the actor so much, the student was invited to help James oversee an English class in late 2013.
In his suit, Moody alleges he visited the Vancouver, Canada set of Franco and Seth Rogen’s film The Interview at the actor and teacher’s request in November, 2013, to pitch the concept to producers.
Moody insists the worked full time on The Disaster Artist for the following four months before Franco told him that the executives behind the project wanted to replace him with established writers at the end of March, 2014.
The suit contains emails from Franco to Moody, appearing to support the budding screenwriter’s story.
He also claims The Disaster Artist script incorporates his uncredited work.
– Cover Media0