Co-Creator of Hit Netflix Series ‘Ozark’ Sued for Breach of Contract

Steven T. Lowe

View of a sunrise in the Ozark Mountains, Arkansas. Overlook of foggy mountains in the sun.

On March 15th, 2021, Ozark co-creator Mark Williams (“Williams”) was hit with a breach of contract suit. In a complaint filed by Nick May (“May”), the first-time screenwriter claims that Williams eliminated his authorship of the film he wrote. After May agreed to “option” his screenplay for the upcoming film, “Blacklight,” to Williams, the “Ozark” co-creator allegedly denied May writing credits. May further alleges that Williams improperly gave himself sole “Screenplay by” and “Written by” credits.

The rules that govern the “option” contract (the Writers Guild of America Basic Agreement and Screen Credits Manual) require a greater-than-50% contribution to the screenplay’s elements to qualify for shared writing and/or screenplay credits. May maintains that Williams’ revisions to the final script were insufficient even to award Williams shared “Screenplay by” and “Written by” credits, let alone awarding sole credits to Williams. In fact, May contends that Williams should not have received credit for the film at all.

May has alleged that while this case seems like the all-too-common scenario of established Hollywood players stealing credit and money from newcomers, May is not “the typical mark.”

Nick May is represented by Devin A. McRae and Zachary A. Gidding of Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP.

It is unknown who is representing the defendants at this time.

The case is Nick May v. Mark Williams et al., case number 21STCV09990, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

* Lowe & Associates (“The Firm”) is an entertainment and business law firm located in Beverly Hills, California. The Firm has extensive experience handling cases involving contracts in the entertainment industry, having provided top-quality legal services to its clients since 1991. The Firm is recognized for its many achievements, including successfully litigating many high-profile cases.

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