The documentary, Room Full of Spoons by Richard Harper, Fernando Forero McGrath, Mark Racicot and Richard Towns, was found to have used 69 clips from The Room, which prompted Wiseau to ask for money and final approval of the project. However, the court ruled in favor of the filmmakers after finding that they sought to license the clips in 2015. Ontario Superior Court Judge Paul Schabas decreed that the filmmakers were protected under the doctrine of “fair use.”
“In my view, this action was brought for the improper purpose of preventing the release of a documentary disliked by Tommy Wiseau,” Schabas wrote.
Wiseau was then ordered to pay $550,000 to the filmmakers and awarded an extra $220,000 in Canadian dollars in punitive damages. The judge also dismissed Wiseau’s claim that the documentary violated his privacy by disclosing his personal information, including his birth name and place of birth.
“This information was available from public sources, which is how the defendants obtained and confirmed it,” Schabas added. “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.'”
A biographical comedy film titled The Disaster Artist chronicled Wiseau and his friendship with actor Greg Sestero. The film starred James Franco as Wiseau and was released by Sony Pictures in 2017.
Tommy Wiseau's attempt to thwart the release of a documentary about himself will cost the filmmaker $700K.