"Forrest Gump" lawsuit

I seem to recall that Winston Groom, author of the original novel ‘Forrest Gump’, was suing the makers of the film. The filmmakers were claiming that the flick didn’t make money, and therefore they had no profits to share with him. Groom of course found this unlikely.

What happened with this lawsuit?

Hollywood sure does have a creative accounting process…

Yer pal,

yeah, not to mention all those restaurants that came up with the name on them. Got one here on Cannery Row.

Groom got extra money out of the filmmakers, though no admission of wrongdoing. Sort of “we’re nice guys, so we’ll give you a bunch of money. Now go away.” (I think there may have also been a deal for a sequel.)

I also heard that the hapless author was even cut out of the book sales end of it.

A “Gump-ized” version of the screenplay actually sold better than the original book for awhile, and Groom was not entitled to any royalties from it.

I think Art Buchwald filed a similar suit years ago over another obviously profitable film that was declared to be unprofitable.

Buchwald sued originally for a cut of Eddie Murphy’s COMING TO AMERICA. In contrast to the usual lawsuits about Hollywood “stealing ideas,” Buchwald had a real case – he had been hired by the studio to produce a screenplay that was very much like the final version. The courts ruled that Buchwald deserved a cut. “OK,” said the studio, “we’ll give you a percentage of the net.” Later Buchwald discovered how worthless this was, and sued again. I believe the studio was required to pay up.