According to Variety, a Canadian judge has ordered Tommy Wiseau—director and star of cult movie hit The Room—to pay about $700,000 to the filmmakers behind a documentary about The Room. The judge determined that Wiseau was trying to unfairly thwart the release of the documentary because it included clips from his movie and because it revealed information about his real age, name, and birthplace (we won’t say it here in cause you’d prefer to remain blissfully unaware of his true origins, but we will say that it rhymes with “Shmoland”). Unfortunately for Wiseau, the content of the documentary was ruled to fall under “fair dealing” (which is apparently the equivalent of our “fair use”), and the details about Wiseau’s true identity do not “meet the high standard for a civil offense in Canada.”
The movie is called Room Full Of Spoons, and the filmmakers (Richard Harper, Fernando Ferero McGrath, Mark Racicot, and Richard Towns) had originally intended to release it closer to the release of The Disaster Artist to capitalize on the Room fever that had swept the nation. Wiseau tried to sue them to stop the release and apparently exhibited “oppressive and outrageous” behavior and “bad faith negotiations” to try and stall the release of the documentary. He reportedly demanded “excessive sums” to license The Room clips, wanted to get final approval of the documentary, and at one point asked for the movie to be “60 percent” more positive.
The judge said Wiseau also “behaved erratically” once this dispute went to trial and avoided answering questions when he testified, which presumably played in the court’s decision to force Wiseau to pay $550,000 in lost revenue (since The Room isn’t as hot now as it was a few years ago) and an additional $200,000 Canadian dollars in “punitive damages.”
by Sam Barsanti