Lawsuit Over Marc Schiller's Portrayal in Pain and Gain Moves To Miami

In real life, Shaloub's character was based on Marc Schiller, who lived through a month of torture at the hands of the Sun Gym Gang and a one-year prison stint for Medicare fraud to write his own book about the gang. Shaloub's character was also based on the actions of Frank Griga.
In real life, Shaloub's character was based on Marc Schiller, who lived through a month of torture at the hands of the Sun Gym Gang and a one-year prison stint for Medicare fraud to write his own book about the gang. Shaloub's character was also based on the actions of Frank Griga.
Courtesy of Peter Collins

A New York judge has ordered that businessman Marc Schiller’s lawsuit over his portrayal in the movie Pain & Gain, which was originally filed in April 2014, must now be transferred from the Empire State to South Florida. The case will now be heard in Miami federal court.

Paramount Pictures and others involved in the film’s production are being sued for trying to pass the flick off as a “true story,” while Wahlberg is named as a defendant because he used the film to sell his line of Marked fitness supplements. Pain & Gain has made over $100 million between box office and DVD sales since it's release in 2013. 

The Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson film was based on the true story of a group of bodybuilders-turned-criminals from South Beach, and was shot in South Florida. The movie included a character based on Schiller and events that happened to him. Schiller was kidnapped, tortured, and extorted by the group of men, just as the movie describes. Schiller, however, claims in his lawsuit  the film falsely portrays the criminals in a positive, lighthearted way, while he is portrayed negatively, in an silly fashion. Schiller's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Paramount Pictures, Wahlberg, and other entities involved in the movie production.

Schiller, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York, states in the lawsuit his horrific kidnapping ordeal was incorrectly portrayed and the basis for the 2013 dark-comedy hit. Schiller says he was falsely depicted as a corrupt, “unlikeable, sleazy” braggart in the flick when he was simply the victim.

“They chose to portray me as a bad person and my assailants as nice guys who were just bumbling fools,’’ Schiller, 56, told the New York Post. “The movie made a mockery of me and of the pain and suffering that I had endured. … The horrible person on the screen had no resemblance to who I was — or who I am now.”

In the movie Wahlberg and his accomplices bungle six attempts to abduct Schiller, before eventually tying up and torturing him into signing over his home and his million-dollar fortune. Somehow Schiller would escape their many efforts to kill him and seek help. 


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