A "Super Size" Lawsuit

Company sues Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock for portion of profits from Oscar-nominated doc

By Josh Grossberg May 19, 2005 5:00 PMTags

Morgan Spurlock lost years off his life downing McFood in the name of cinema for his hit Oscar-nominated documentary, Super Size Me. Now, a company is looking to gobble up a Big Mac-like portion of the movie's profits.

In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in New York Supreme Court, Cast Iron Partners claims Spurlock agreed to give the company a 25 percent stake in the director's company in early 2002 and a slice of Super Size Me's profits in exchange for providing Spurlock with office space and business advice.

"We bet on this long shot and it hit and they're basically trying to keep all the money," Cast Iron Partners attorney Bill Kelly told Reuters, adding that the company has been repeatedly trying to sit down with Spurlock to settle the dispute but has been rebuffed every time.

Shot on a budget of just $75,000, Super Size Me slurped up more than $30 million at the box office last year--a huge amount for a documentary not directed by Michael Moore.

The film followed Spurlock on an indigestion-inducing quest to eat nothing but fast food over a 30-day span and chronicle the adverse health effects of such a diet.

According to Cast Iron's complaint, despite his Super success, Spurlock "is engaging in self-interested and wasteful activities and diverting assets into a new company."

The writer-director and his attorney, John Sloss, were out of town attending the Cannes Film Festival and have not seen the suit.

However, the recently slimmed-down Spurlock told Reuters on a recent book tour to promote his new release, Don't Eat This Book, which examines Americans' obsession with junk food, that Cast Iron's allegations were bunk.

"I personally haven't even made close to that. I haven't even made a million dollars," he said.

That could change real soon, however. Spurlock is taking his Super Size success to the small screen.

The filmmaker has created a new reality series for FX called 30 Days that places people in fish-out-of-water situations for a month. For example, in the pilot, viewers will see what happens to Spurlock as he attempts to live on minimum wage for a month. Other episodes revolve around a born-again Christian man who goes to live with a Muslim, and a heterosexual conservative man who shacks up with a gay roommate.

The series is slated to premiere June 15.