HBO and Mark Ruffalo have been named in a lawsuit claiming a fire that broke out on the set of I Know This Much Is True led to toxins and devastation.
HBO and Mark Ruffalo are reportedly being sued over a location fire during the filming of I Know This Much Is True. Ruffalo, known for portraying Bruce Banner/Hulk in the MCU and for his roles in films such as 13 Going on 30, Zodiac, and Shutter Island, tackled playing identical twins in the 2020 miniseries, directed by Derek Cianfrance. Based on Wally Lamb’s 1998 novel of the same name, I Know This Much Is True followed the parallel lives of Dominick and Thomas Birdsey and explored the treatment of mental illness while touching on themes of betrayal and forgiveness. In addition to Ruffalo, the show starred Melissa Leo, Rob Huebel, Michael Greyeyes, Juliette Lewis, Kathryn Hahn, Rosie O’Donnell, and Philip Ettinger.
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I Know This Much Is True was officially greenlit back in October 2018, with production wrapping a year later, and while the series would go on to become a success for HBO, the filming process faced difficulties. In May of 2019, a fire broke out on the set of a used car dealership in Ellenville, NY that allegedly ruined film equipment, as well as the building and several vehicles. At the time, filming was halted and it had been reported that the owners of the dealership sued the production company involved.
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Now, according to information obtained by TMZ, those who live near the dealership are also suing HBO, claiming that the fire caused damage to their homes and exposed them to dangerous toxins and carcinogens. The filming site was described as being left an “‘uncovered and unabated debris pile,'” and the lawsuit reportedly also names Mark Ruffalo, who served as executive producer. The residents have claimed that “the film set was a powder keg due to kerosene, heating oil and other flammable materials being stored at the filming location.”
Ruffalo, who just joined Bong Joon Ho’s latest feature and recently starred in the Netflix hit The Adam Project, has not yet commented on the lawsuit, but as TMZ notes, neighbors are “seeking millions in damages.” I Know This Much Is True proved to be a career-enhancing project for the actor, who was able to showcase his ability to portray two completely separate characters on screen. For his performance as brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey, Ruffalo earned his second Emmy Award nomination and first win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series.
Considering the news of this lawsuit is still fresh, it could take some time to see how HBO and/or Ruffalo respond. With residents seeking financial retribution, the results of the case, as they develop, may or may not be publicized. Those who are familiar with I Know This Much Is True or fans of Mark Ruffalo’s celebrated performances will have to wait for further details as the story unfolds.
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