Elizabeth Banks and the producers of her recently released film, Walk of Shame, have been hit with a lawsuit less than a week after its release. The plaintiff claims that the producers essentially stole the screenplay.
According to the complaint filed on Wednesday in California federal court, Dan Rosen (the operator of Shame on You Productions), attempted to get a screenplay called “Darci’s Walk of Shame” developed seven years ago.
It goes even a step further. The complaint alleges that in 2007, Rosen sent to the screenplay to a mutual acquaintance of his and Banks’ to interest her in playing the lead role. A week later, Rosen is said to have met for three hours with Banks and her husband, Max Handelman, who produces films through Brownstone Productions.
Apparently while they liked the screenplay, they never got back to Rosen and Banks and Handelman retained the screenplay and never returned it.
The lawsuit from attorney Charles Coate details many alleged similarities between the works, including the title, large city setting and key plot sequences.
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.”
In response to the lawsuit, a Lakeshore spokesperson tells The Hollywood Reporter,
“Lakeshore developed Walk of Shame independently, prior to casting Elizabeth Banks. We believe this claim is meritless.”
Banks and Handelman did not produce the film. However, if the plaintiff did indeed meet with the Rosen, Banks, and Handelman, there may be merit to his claim and could argue he deserves compensation as the material he presented was later used.
You can read the complaint here in full.