Last week, The Social Network and Zombieland star Jesse Eisenberg filed a lawsuit against Lionsgate and Grindstone Entertainment, distributors of the low-budget horror film Camp Hell, for falsely advertising that he’s the film’s leading man to capitalize on his newfound fame and popularity. Per the suit, Eisenberg agreed to shoot a small cameo for longtime friends producing the picture in 2007, but only worked one day, for a paycheck of roughly $3,000 and less than five minutes of screen time. “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 appear in a prominent role in Camp Hell, but instead has a cameo role in Camp Hell,” the suit says. It then, of course, points out the large photo of Eisenberg gracing the DVD jacket and the way his name appears above the title. I am not a judge, but as someone who’s bought DVDs for years, I would assume that Eisenberg was the leading man (and filmed this well before he got his Oscar nomination).
What is up for debate in my eyes is another of the suit’s assertions: “Eisenberg’s reputation and good will with the public and his fans will be severely harmed if they are duped into purchasing a copy of the Camp Hell DVD as a result of false advertising by Defendants that it is a horror film starring Jesse Eisenberg.” I think fans are smart enough to know he wouldn’t be in charge of marketing a film (or choose to be the face of Camp Hell at this point in his career). It’s the distributors’ reputations and good will that is potentially at stake with a move like this. A rep for Lionsgate tells EW the company does not comment on current or pending litigation.