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The real reason Tommy Wiseau owes nearly $ 700,000 to a The Room documentary

Chloe Productions / TPW FilmsBy Robert Balkovich / .6. May 2020, 5:13 p.m. EDT

When the enigmatic filmmaker Tommy Wiseau released his debut film, The roomIn 2003 it was a bug in every possible metric. The film grossed a total of $ 1,900 at the box office (via Weekly entertainment) and has been gutted by critics for its bizarre script and ridiculously poor acting. As with notoriously horrific films like Showgirls and Troll 2 before but beforeThe room soon transformed from a strange box-office bomb into a beloved cult classic.

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In 2017 the production of The room was recorded in the film The disaster artistwhich was judged by James Franco, who also played Wiseau. The film not only sparked renewed interest The room, but in the enigmatic filmmaker himself. Around the time that The disaster artist Premiere, a documentary about Wiseau and the making of The roomtitled Room full of spoonswas about to graduate.

Before the documentary could be discontinued, however, Wiseau sued an injunction against its publication. Now, three years later, the film still hasn't seen the light of day. However, on May 5, 2020, in addition to ruling in favor of the documentary filmmakers, a judge ordered Wiseau to pay nearly $ 700,000 as part of the ruling. Why Wiseau is forced to spit so much money is another strange chapter in the filmmaker's life.

Tommy Wiseau was originally involved in the making of Room Full of Spoons

Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

Room full of spoons Directed by Rick Harper, who started working on the film after meeting Wiseau and presented the idea of ​​a documentary to him The room. According to Harper, Wiseau was excited about the film and agreed to participate. In an interview with The Hollywood ReporterHarper said of Wiseau's involvement, "He was on board for about a month and after that we had different opinions."

Harper went on to fight against Wiseau for creative control of filmmaking. "I think he just wanted me to go from theater to theater interviewing fans," said Harper. 'When he found out I was coming to LA for more than one screening - that I had started scheduling interviews - he got scared.'

According to Harper, Wiseau also requested that the film portray him in a positive light, including the fact that the documentary's producers themselves said nice things about him. When Harper didn't follow suit, Wiseau broke ties with the producers. He posted a series of videos on YouTube called 'Shame On You' aimed at defaming Harper. A clip even included Wiseau shooting and blowing up a poster Room full of spoons.

The reasons Tommy Wiseau tried to stop Room Full of Spoons from being released

Chloe Productions / TPW Films

Wiseau didn't stop posting retribution videos. In 2017, he successfully sued an injunction against the documentary's release, claiming the film violated his right to privacy and committed a copyright infringement resulting from its use of clips The room (above NY Daily News).

In his Hollwood reporter InterviewHarper described his struggles to make a deal with Wiseau to use scenes from The room.'(H) he said he was going to license The room for $ 500 to us ... And the next day he literally asked for $ 995, "Harper said. “And I thought that's fine, I can, send me an invoice. He absolutely refused to send me an invoice instead of telling me to go to the website and hit 'Donate' and donate $ 995. I can't take this to court. There is no receipt or invoice. And now we've got to a point where he's asking for $ 150,000 for licensing. '

The privacy concerns are likely due to Wiseau's notoriously secret nature, especially as far as his background is concerned. Many of the details he gave about his personal life, including his name, are considered falsifications (via vulture). According to Harper Room full of spoons reveals some of the truths about Wiseau's past, including his true nationality and age.

Why a judge ordered Tommy Wiseau to pay nearly $ 700,000 to the filmmakers of Room Full of Spoons

Rich Fury / Getty Images

Wiseau may have concerns about the documentary, but Ontario Supreme Court Justice Paul Schabas didn't see it that way. On May 5, 2020, he ended the restraining order and asked Wiseau to reimburse the filmmakers. Commenting on the lawsuit, he said, "I believe that this lawsuit was brought for the improper purpose of preventing the release of a documentary that Tommy had rejected Wiseau '(via NY Daily News).

Wiseau was sentenced to pay $ 550,000 for lost revenue because the filmmakers could not benefit from the film they had already completed and were willing to release it when the injunction was issued. In addition, Judge Schabas asked Wiseau to pay an additional $ 140,000 in damages for bringing the matter to court in the first place.

As for Room full of spoonsno release date was announced. Given the continued interest in Wiseau, especially given the attention the lawsuit itself has paid to the documentary, you can probably expect it to find a distributor soon.