NEW YORK–One of the screenwriters of the Warner Bros. 2003 movie “The Last Samurai” is suing the film’s producers, alleging they failed to give him and other writers proper writing credits.
Michael Alan Eddy says Interscope Communications hired him in 1992 to write the screenplay for “The Last Samurai.” After Eddy wrote the second draft, he says Interscope replaced him with another writer, Garner Simmons. Then, Interscope allegedly brought on a third writer, Robert Schenkkan.
Eddy says the film’s producers then failed to submit to the Writers Guild of America the names of the first three writers on the project, as required under WGA guidelines.
Eddy says that the WGA’s credit process violates a Ninth Circuit ruling in Jacobs v. CBS Productions (2002), where the court held that the WGA’s credit arbitration procedures are “patently unreasonable and indefensible.”
“The ‘little-guy’ writer is no longer protected by the WGA, but instead must protect himself or herself from the WGA and be constantly vigilant for traps laid by its staff, one hell-bent on power, self preservation and avoiding accountability, and a Board that operates in secret as if a politburo from the Cold War era,” Eddy alleges in the complaint.
Case: Michael Alan Eddy v. Radar Pictures, Interscope Communications, Warner Bros. Pictures, Bedford Falls Co., Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz and Writer’s Guild of America, West Inc.
Cite: USCD California CV04-0013
Plaintiff’s attorneys: Neville L. Johnson, Brian A. Rishwain and James T. Ryan of Johnson & Rishwain LLP in Los Angeles.