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Why Was the Movie “Don’s Plum” Not Officially Released in the US and Canada?

Famous movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio & Tobey Maguire once co-starred in a presumably short film entitled Don’s Plum. When news reached both actors that Don’s Plum turned into a feature film with the director’s orders, both immediately refused the idea. Subsequently, the movie’s creators filed a $10,000,000 lawsuit against the actors. 

Included in the leading cast of the indie-film Don’s Plum, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire refused the flick to be distributed in the United States and Canada because both actors only consented to a short film, not a feature film. 

The Beginning of the Conflict

Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire are familiar names to almost everybody, given that they’re both renowned American movie stars who’ve starred in classic and timeless movies such as Titanic or Spider-Man. And although most people might know of them through their most famous films, very few people would say that they’ve first seen these actors through a Don’s Plum, a 2001 film with comedy and drama.

Directed by R.D. Robb, Don’s Plum is a movie that centers on a group of teenagers that reside in Los Angeles who meet weekly at a local diner to discuss their lives. Shot between July ’95 from March the following year, the movie’s a black-and-white Clerks-style movie. The cast of Don’s Plum contains Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Amber Benson, Scott Bloom, Kevin Connolly, Jenny Lewis, Heather McComb, and Meadow Sisto.

In a New York Post article in 2019, Dale Whitley, one of Don’s Plum‘s producers, expressed his thoughts on the flick, which he thought was bound for failure.

We believed we were making a film with our friends and foolishly didn’t pay attention to paperwork. Don’s Plum was on the road to failing because of our inexperience and our lack of prep.

Dale Whitley

For Don’s Plum, Whitley joined forces with amateur filmmakers David Stutman and Beckman. With that, they brought in R.D. Robb to direct and experienced producers John Schlinder and Gary Lowe to complete the crew. And although all of them produced the movie on good terms, after the film’s conversion into a feature film, both Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire felt wronged. (Source: New York Post)

The Banning of Don’s Plum

According to Whitley, when DiCaprio initially heard the news of Don’s Plum‘s conversion into a feature film, he already felt apprehensive. During Don’s Plum, DiCaprio was still just a rising star, and a flopping feature film would pull his career down.

Meanwhile, when Maguire and his agent saw the feature film, they were both very displeased as Maguire’s character had a bit of an edge, and Maguire thought it would ruin his career.

I had a friend who I did a short film with recently who slandered me. I was trying to do a favor for him. His name is R.D. Robb. It’s scandalous. It was originally a short film, and then he tried to make it into a feature. I worked one night on it. And I heard all this stuff about how he was going to pit the press against me if I didn’t go along with him and do the feature. I just did it as a favor, you know?

Leonardo DiCaprio

When both leading actors denied Don’s Plum as a feature film, director R.D. Robb stated that he would press charges against them. Not long after, when prospective production companies began dropping Don’s Plum, the creators of the flick filed a $10,000,000 lawsuit against DiCaprio and Maguire. As a response, the two movie stars counter-sued.

Eventually, both parties settled on an agreement, wherein one of the conditions of the agreement stated that Don’s Plum‘s release in the United States and Canada was prohibited. (Source: New York Post

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