(UPDATED WITH STATEMENT FROM SUZANNE TODD’S LAWYER) Hangover creators Jon Lucas and Scott Moore are credited as the writers and directors of the 2016 hit Bad Moms but a potentially multi-million dollar suit filed by the authors of I’d Trade My Husband For A Housekeeper is laying blame for fraud on producer Suzanne Todd.
“In 2008, Defendant contacted Plaintiffs after seeing them on The Today Show, informing them that they believed there was significant potential to develop their Books and genre insights into films and television series,” the 10-claim complaint from Amy Nobile and Trisha Ashworth submitted against the veteran producer in LA Superior Court on June 6 says (read it here). “Defendant’s use is indisputable as the Film uses themes and ideas expounded by Plaintiffs in their books and employs plots, scenes and various ideas Plaintiffs provided to Defendant during the Collaboration Period,” they add of the period up until 2011 when the duo and Todd were supposedly in constant contact.
“Defendant’s unlawful business practice of soliciting ideas and failing to pay for the use of such ideas and services resulted in ill-gotten gains when Defendant used the Results and Proceeds for the Film, Bad Moms and netted substantial profits,” the 16-page jury seeking filing declares of the over $180 million grossing STX film.
“The claim is ridiculous and will be defeated in court,” Todd’s attorney David L. Burg of LA’s Scheper Kim & Harris LLP said tersely. BTW – STX nor any one else is named as a defendant here but producer Todd.
In a 2017 interview just before sequel A Bad Moms Christmas came out, Todd said that she thought the inspiration from the films was “my experience and a lot of other people’s experience.” The Austin Powers and Alice In Wonderland producer also joked that Lucas and Moore really came to her for the bad dates part of the script.
A crack that Nobile and Ashworth likely wouldn’t be laughing at, then or now.
In their complaint, the best selling I Was A Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids scribes paint a portrait of sweeping elements of the Mila Kunis Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn led flick as having been lifted from their well-publicized work. Citing “competitiveness and high standards between mothers” to “the overall message that mothers need to be less overworked and learn to make mistakes,” the duo desire a wide swath of damages, restitution, costs and more.
Despite the fact that such linage lawsuits often wither as courts find the comparisons of similarities too general to draw strict cause and effect with, so to speak, Nobile and Ashworth assert that their work examining the “pressures to have perfect marriages and be ‘good moms'” is where Bad Moms came from – and they say they have a timeline and a deal
“It was always understood between Defendant and Plaintiffs that if Defendant used Plaintiffs’ ideas, research and insights, Defendant would compensate and credit Plaintiffs pursuant to the Agreement,” the suit from John Holcomb Jr. and Shahrokh Sheik of LA firm Kramer Holcomb Sheik LLP states. “Over the years, up to and including the release of the Film in November 2016, Plaintiffs, operating under the understanding that the Agreement remained in full force and effect, passed up several film/television opportunities to collaborate with Defendant on translating their content and ideas to a film or television show.”
With the inevitable reply from Todd to be filed and a LASC judge deciding if the matter should go forward or go away, this could be a whole new way of looking at Bad Moms or just a bad move that didn’t end up going far.