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‘Cowboys & Aliens’ Sparks Texas Lawsuit

The author of a 1995 comic story with the same title as the movie Cowboys & Aliens has sued producers of the movie and a comics publisher, alleging they stole his idea. Austin-based author Steven John Busti filed the suit in federal court in Texas. The suit named DreamWorks Studios, Universal Pictures and comic book entrepreneur Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and his company Platinum Studios as defendants. Busti claims he came up with the idea for cowboys fighting aliens in 1994 and published a story the following year titled “Cowboys & Aliens” in a comic called Bizarre Fantasy. The suit also claims that in 1994 the publication Comic Shop News ran a feature on his Cowboys & Aliens idea in the same issue that ran a story on Rosenberg. Rosenberg’s LA-based Platinum Studios in 2006 launched the graphic novel series Cowboys & Aliens — which Busti asserted in the suit has striking similarities to his work. Universal and DreamWorks bought movie rights from Platinum. Busti’s claim is another black mark against the movie on which the studios placed high hopes and a big budget. A major disappointment financially, Cowboys & Aliens grossed about $175 million worldwide, barely more than it cost.

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‘Tron:Legacy’ Helmer Joseph Kosinski Pitching ‘Oblivion’ As Directing Vehicle

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Back from vamping Tron: Legacy for the third straight year at Comic-Con, director Joseph Kosinski this week is making the rounds at studios. He’s pitching a movie version of Oblivion, a futuristic science fiction love story he’ll direct, based on a graphic novel he created for Radical Publishing.

Kosinski will give Disney first crack at the movie tonight, and will pitch with Radical chief Barry Levine to other studios through the week if Disney doesn’t take it off the table. This one won’t likely take long to land a buyer. Plotted by Kosinski and written by Arvid Nelson, the comic takes place in an apocalyptic future where most people live above the clouds because the surface of the Earth is uninhabitable. A soldier is stuck on the desolate Earth repairing drones that patrol and destroy a savage alien race called The Scavengers. He comes across a beautiful woman who has crashed in a craft. Together they take an epic adventure that changes his world view.

Kosinski had the idea for the project three years ago, long before he was a hot commodity. Because he was engaged for so long making Tron: Legacy, Kosinski and his reps set the project up first as a graphic novel with Radical’s Levine.  Timing on when he’ll direct the film depends on script, and what happens with a possible Tron: Legacy sequel. Oblivion will be published … Read More »

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Comic-Con #13: The ‘Priest’ Panel

Luke Y Thompson is covering the Con for Deadline:

PRIEST, based on the Tokyopop-published graphic novel, is brought to you by the folks behind the agreeable B-movie LEGION. While many of the original Manga take place in the past, the movie serves as a sequel, set in a post-apocalyptic world. We’re shown a clip that is “not MPAA approved.” It begins with a dark, BLADE RUNNER-style cityscape. A hooded figure carrying a rosary walks through. It’s Paul Bettany, and he has a red cross tattooed on his face. A vampire attacks – this vampire is like a wild, wet beast, with no eyes, no pigment – think the demons in CONSTANTINE, on the offchance you actually saw that. Read More »

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‘Green Lantern’ Scribe Lights The Way Into Comics For Other Screenwriters

Mike Fleming

Green Lantern co-writer Marc Guggenheim is at Comic-Con today. He’s launching Collider Entertainment, a partnership with Alisa Tager that is designed to create properties that start out as comics and then springboard onto other  media platforms. Guggenheim and Tager have experience in everything from TV to films, video games and comic books. Their company gets off the ground with a deal with Image Comics that begins with two titles.

Guggenheim has written the first title, Utopian, with his screenwriter wife Tara Butters. The first installment of the five-comic series will be published in November. It takes place in a world where superheroes are rendered obsolete when war, famine and crime disappear. One hero investigates the source of the new-found tranquility but his colleagues oppose his efforts to return the world to its normal chaos.

Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber, the scripters of Red and Battleship, are generating the second title, and is a few shades darker. The Mission is a supernatural thriller about a man who receives instructions from the angel Gabriel to commit murders. Is he crazy or answering a divine call?

Aside from teaming with Greg Berlanti and Michael Green to write Green Lantern, Guggenheim is currently a consulting producer on the ABC Michael Chiklis series No Ordinary Family and has had a long career writing and producing series. He has earned his fanboy cred writing nearly 100 comics, including Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine, Superman/Batman, Blade and Young X-Men. He even adapted … Read More »

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