James Franco's film adaption of poet Charles Bukowski's semi-autobiographical novel, “Ham on Rye,” isn't kosher, says the man who claims he holds the movie's film rights.
Cyril Humphris says he had agreed to let Mr. Franco adapt the book by Mr. Bukowski, who died in 1994, but those rights terminated in 2010, according to the complaint that was filed in a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles last week in Cyril Humphris v. James Franco et al.
According to the complaint, the movie has been completed, and Mr. Franco and his production company were trying to secure its distribution as of December 2013.
The complaint states, “The film borrows the novel's themes of childhood loneliness; adolescent self-consciousness; the failures, hypocrisy and cruelty of adults, and, in an unflinching depiction, the crude interest teenage boys take in sex.”
It states the movie “incorporates entire scenes including substantial dialog from the novel.”
The lawsuit charges Mr. Franco and his film company with copyright infringement and seeks unspecified damages. The lawsuit was first reported in the Hollywood Reporter.