|Stallone accused of stealing screenplay|
27 October 2011
Action film star Sylvester Stallone has been accused, in a lawsuit, of copying another writer’s screenplay for The Expendables, a film about mercenaries hired to defeat a military dictator.
The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court on October 25, by writer Marcus Webb, who said the screenplay for The Expendables is “strikingly similar and in some places identical” to his work entitled The Cordoba Caper.
Webb seeks unspecified damages for copyright infringement and an order from the court stopping further infringement in any sequel by Stallone, his credited co-author David Callaham, Millennium Films, its Nu Image Films unit and Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation. Stallone’s publicist, Michelle Bega, declined to comment.
The Expendables — produced by Millennium and Nu Image and distributed by Lions Gate — was released worldwide on August 13, 2010. According to the lawsuit, Webb registered The Cordoba Caper screenplay and a short story with the same title and plot with the US Copyright Office in June 2006. The lawsuit also stated that the screenplay was made widely available by Webb for consideration in the film industry between 2006 and 2009. “There can be no dispute that Stallone and/or Callaham had access to and copied protectable elements of the screenplay,” the lawsuit stated.
The Cordoba Caper tells the story of a team of elite, highly-trained mercenaries hired to defeat General Garza, a rogue army general of a small Latin American country.
The court document provides details of the ways in which Webb sees similarities between his screenplay and the released film, including the opening “with a hostage rescue at sea, off a foreign coast, which has nothing to do with the main plot. It said the main villain in both is a General Garza, a military dictator with a notorious human rights record. Webb said he has been deprived of benefits from the screenplay such as potential earnings from the production, distribution and performance of The Expendables.
Source: The Express Tribune
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