'Social Network' star Jesse Eisenberg raises 'Hell' with Lions Gate in $3 mil lawsuit
Oscar-nominated actor Jesse Eisenberg ("The Social Network", "30 Minutes or Less", "Zombieland") is suing Lionsgate Entertainment over a low-budget horror film entitled "Camp Hell", alleging that the film's DVD cover art makes him out to be the star of the film when in reality he has only a five-minute cameo.
"As a favor to friends, who were producing and directing a low budget horror film called 'Camp Hell', Eisenberg agreed to perform for one day on the film in a small cameo role for minimal compensation," reads the $3 million lawsuit (an amount equal to the reported budget of the film) that was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorney Marty Singer.
"Although Eisenberg appears onscreen for less than five minutes," it continues, "the distributors of 'Camp Hell', Defendants Lions Gate Entertainment and Grindstone Entertainment Group, are now attempting to fraudulently deceive and mislead the public and reap millions of dollars by capitalizing on Eisenberg's newfound fame and popularity by falsely advertising 'Camp Hell' as a horror film starring Jesse Eisenberg. Eisenberg is bringing this lawsuit in order to warn his fans and the public that, contrary to the manner in which Defendants are advertising the film, Eisenberg is not the star of and does not appeiu in a prominent role in 'Camp Hell', but instead has a cameo role in 'Camp Hell'."
The story was first reported by RumorFix.
Eisenberg allegedly received only $3,000 for his five-minute role in the movie, which was originally (and hilariously) titled "Camp Hope". Given a limited theatrical release in August 2010 before going to DVD earlier this year, the film centers on a group of fundamentalist Christian children who are confronted with an unspeakable evil while attending a retreat in the woods.
Written and directed by George VanBuskirk (who produced the excellent 2002 independent film "Roger Dodger" co-starring Eisenberg and who we can assume is no longer on friendly terms with the actor), "Camp Hell" also stars Will Denton, Emmy Award-winning actress Dana Delany (!), Academy Award-nominated actor Bruce Davison (!!) and "Mannequin" star Andrew McCarthy.
Do you think Eisenberg has a point here, or has he gone too far in trying to protect his now-higher-profile image? Check out the DVD cover art for yourself below and then let us know what you think in the comments!