Actress Elizabeth Banks and her producer husband are at the centre of a legal spat over their new movie Walk Of Shame. The film, in which The Hunger Games star plays a news anchor stranded after a one-night stand, opened on limited release and as a video-on-demand download in America last week (01May14) and now it's making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Producer Dan Rosen has sued Banks and her husband Max Handelman, claiming the movie is based on a script he pitched to the couple in 2007, titled Darci's Walk of Fame. In papers filed on Wednesday (07May14) in California, the plaintiff claims he forwarded a draft of the screenplay to Banks via a mutual friend, with a view to her starring in the film. He then sat down for a meeting with the actress and Handelman and walked away confident that the couple liked the script.
But they never got back to Rosen and, according to the lawsuit, which has been obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, they "retained the Screenplay, and never returned any version of it."
The suit reads: "The plot in both works follows a pretty blonde but prudent woman (a 'good girl') in her thirties living in a big city who goes through a break up with her boyfriend, commiserates with her best girlfriends (one of whom is sexual and foulmouthed), gets drunk, spends a 'one-nighter' with a younger man she just met who works as a busboy/bartender, wakes up the next morning at his place, and puts on her inappropriate outfit from the night before."
Rosen and his partners at Shame on You Production have also named Walk of Shame screenwriter Steven Brill and executives at Focus World, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, FilmDistrict and Lakeshore Entertainment in the suit, claiming copyright infringement and breach of implied-in-fact contract. A spokesperson for Lakeshore Entertainment tells The Hollywood Reporter, "Lakeshore developed Walk of Shame independently, prior to casting Elizabeth Banks. We believe this claim is meritless."
Walk of Shame will be released in Russia, Singapore and Vietnam this weekend (beg09May14), and film fans in Lithuania, France, Holland, Belgium and Hungary will be able to catch the movie before the end of the month.