Mark Ruffalo and HBO are heading to court. Back in May 2019, the Avengers star had been working as a star and producer of the HBO series I Know This Much Is True. At the time, a fire had broken out at the New York car dealership where the cast and crew were filming. The good news is that no one was seriously injured or worse because of the blaze, but it may have had everlasting effects on some people.
Per TMZ, neighbors who lived nearby have now filed a lawsuit against Ruffalo and HBO, claiming the blaze damaged their homes while in addition to exposing them with toxins and carcinogens. According to court documents, the neighbors have suffered “physical and emotional injuries,” and they’re collectively asking for millions of dollars in damages. It’s alleged that Ruffalo and HBO are responsible for the fire for storing flammable materials at the set. The plaintiffs are also unhappy that the production team has not cleaned up the rubble after three years, claiming that the site is still an “uncovered and unabated debris pile, toxin spill and wind-driven dust and gaseous dispersion.”
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Directed by Derek Cianfrance and written by Cianfrance and Anya Epstein, I Know This Much Is True is based on the 1998 novel by Wally Lamb. Ruffalo stars in the miniseries as two roles, playing identical twin brothers with one struggling with paranoid schizophrenia. The series also starred Melissa Leo, John Procaccino, Rob Huebel, Michael Greyeyes, Juliette Lewis, Rosie O’Donnell, Imogen Poots, and Kathryn Hahn.
Set Fires Are Nothing New
Unfortunately, fires have been known to break out on film and television productions, even if it’s a rare occurrence. Just this past March, the live-action Snow White movie in the works at Disney had its set damaged by a fire at England’s Pinewood Studios. Fortunately, there were no injuries caused by the blaze, though images from the set suggests that it was a frightening experience for the cast and crew on location.
“A set made up of a lot of wood, and trees, etc was currently being built in the Richard Attenborough stage,” a witness had stated at the time. “Rumor is a piece of set has caught alight and spread across the rest of the set. Some crew in the studio were shaken but evacuated without injury.”
Another added, “I didn’t see it start but I was told first a tree went up. By the time I got there the flames were massive, going right up to the ceiling. Then bits of the set started falling into flames and the thatched cottage started lighting up.”
Pinewood Studios alone had two fires break out in previous years on its sets. One happened on the set of the Ridley Scott film Legend in the early 1980s and again with Daniel Craig’s first James Bond movie, Casino Royale, in 2006.