Edward Zwick Cheating Accusations Continue

Claims of credit cheating continue to haunt Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz.

edward zwick cheating image Apparently, everybody and his cousin had a hand in writing “The Last Samurai,” or so would screenwriter Michael Eddy have you believe.  Eddy is claiming Edward Zwick and Marshal Herskovitz cheated him out of credit for having written the earlier Samurai script, “West of the Rising Sun.”  The issue of copyright cheating, as well as cheating on the violation of an implied contract has already been adjudicated (and won by Edward Zwick & Marshal Herskovitz) in federal court, yet despite this decision Eddy has taken his case to the Writers’ Guild of America — asking that an investigation of cheating and plagiarism be conducted.

Successful Movies & Claims of Cheating

Edward Zwick Cheating Director ImageIt must be pointed out that claims of cheating are commonplace in the wake of a successful film and “The Last Samurai,” having earned upwards of $600M worldwide would certainly qualify as such.  Also, it is not clear that the Writers’ Guild is even empowered to render judgement on any claim after it has been adjudicated in court.

Edward Zwick Cheating Out A Little Guy Writer From Credit

Clashes over credits have become a growing sore point in an industry where studios are relying more and more on multiple writers to create big-budget films.  These disputes often pit lower-paid writers who frequently originate projects again richly compensated A-list writers who revamp the scripts to bring them to the screen. Significant sums are at stake. Studio contracts often tie bonuses worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to the credit on a film.   A screen credit can boost a writers’ reputation, making it easier to land lucrative assignments in an industry where writers far outnumber projects.

To be cheated out of a credit is every writers’ worst nightmare.  “The little guy writer is no longer protected by the WGA, ” the suit contends, “Edward Zwick and Herskovitz cheated me and now I must protect myself from the WGA.”

HOLLYWOOD, Brent Toback, 2007