Two of the screenwriters of the first G.I. Joe movie have filed a multi-million copyright infringement suit against Paramount Pictures, MGM, Hasbro and Di Bonaventura Pictures. In their two-claim complaint (read it here) filed on May 3 in federal court, David Elliot and Paul Lovett are seeking $23 million in damages and claiming much of this year’s G.I Joe: Retaliation sequel was “stolen” from their ideas. With extensive side-by-side comparisons between the pitch the duo were asked to submit to the companies in late 2009 and the actual Retaliation film, the heavily detailed 113-page complaint alleges that the two works are “substantially similar in every material way.” Claiming copyright infringement and breach of implied contract, Elliot and Lovett are seeking a jury trial in the case.
The Principato-Young Entertainment repped duo were the writers of the G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra movie back in 2009 along with Stuart Beattie. Not long after that film came out, they were requested to put together some ideas for a sequel with the understanding that they would get the scribe gig on the movie if their ideas were accepted. Though they put together a detailed plotline and characters descriptions, as well had extensive back and forth with the film’s producers like Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, it was just not meant to be. “On or around December 3, 2009, Defendants notified Plaintiffs that Defendants had decided to engage a different writing team to write the screenplay for the Sequel,” the complaint said. OK but when the movie came out the duo say it was their story on the screen with the sequel. “These original inventions, which make Plaintiffs’ Proposed Sequel a compelling piece of story-telling, have been stolen by the PDH Defendants in the hopes of infusing the Joe Retaliation Movie with the blockbuster power of Plaintiffs’ Work,” their complaint adds. They are not credited at all on the 2013 sequel. Unlike many similar cases of alleged sticky fingers, Elliot and Lovett are established Hollywood screenplay writers. They previously worked with di Bonaventura on 2005′s gritty Four Brothers. The two are currently working on a Midnight Run sequel for Universal with Brett Ratner attached to direct. Pushed back from its original late June 2012 release date to March 28, 2013 so 3D and more Channing Tatum could be added, the Jon Chu-directed film opened with a $132 million global gross. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, who wrote 2009’s Zombieland, were credited as the screenwriters on the sequel. Elliot and Lovett are represented by Henry Gradstein, Maryann Marzano and Robert Allen of LA firm Gradstein and Marzano.
SUNDAY 12 PM, 10TH UPDATE: No peace on Easter Weekend because Hollywood studios are now fighting over records. Disney is insisting that it had 2013′s biggest global opening for Oz The Great And Powerful of $148M worldwide. … Read More »
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline contributor.
The IMAX 3D version, featuring a full digital remastering, will coincide with the film’s wide release beginning internationally on March 28, 2013, with the North American release following the next day. The IMAX 3D version will run for a single week in select theaters.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation has a wild journey to theaters. Originally scheduled for a June 29, 2012 release, Paramount baffled industry observers in May when, after a costly ad campaign that included a Super Bowl trailer, it was learned that the film was being rescheduled. The official justification for the rescheduling was a 3D makeover intended to boost international ticket sales. However, the production has been dogged by persistent rumors that the real reason for the switch is costly reshoots to change the plot so that Duke, played by Channing Tatum, is not killed early in the film. Tatum of course enjoyed a huge 2012, with The Vow, 21 Jump Street and Magic Mike all strong hits. Read More »
Paramount‘s G.I. Joe: Retaliation stars Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis and Jonathan Pryce and bows March 29, 2013. John M. Chu directed a script from Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, which got some major tweaking that pushed back its original summer release date. Here’s the latest … Read More »
Dwayne Johnson goes undercover to nail a drug cartel to free his imprisoned son who was set up for a bust. Snitch is slated for February 22nd, and Johnson has at least four other movies coming out next year: G.I. Joe: Retaliation on March 29, Pain … Read More »
This is a second international trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the action sequel that Paramount pushed back from a prime summer bow this year to March 29, 2013. At the time the studio said it was delaying the pic to add 3D. But it turned out after … Read More »
Hollywood studios will not be pulling the plug on projects at the financially troubled special-effects company after Digital Domain got some breathing room yesterday in bankruptcy court. Judge Brenden Shannon approved a fast-tracked auction of Digital Domain Media Group for September 21 and a debtor-in-possession order (read it here) that gives the almost-broke company immediate access to almost $12 million. The new auction date comes after newly named DDMG chief Ed Ulbrich told the court that six Hollywood studios told him they would start pulling projects from the Oscar-winning company this week unless Digital Domain had a clear financial path forward. The loss of those effects projects would result in the removal of what is currently 80% of the company’s revenues. “We’ve been fighting diligently to fend off a run on the company, Ulbrich testified. DDGM’s lawyer Robert Feinstein put it even more bluntly: “The studios are freaking out,” the attorney told the judge. Some of the films that Digital Domain is currently working on include Lionsgate’s Ender’s Game (Digital Domain is a co-producer), New Line’s Jack The Giant Killer, and Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
Related: Digital Domain Files For Bankruptcy Protection But With Sales Agreement Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Ever since I scooped the news a week ago about G.I. Joe: Retaliation moving from June 29th to March 29th, 2013, no one was buying Paramount‘s excuse that “adding 3D” was the only reason for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The hugely buzzed-about ‘R’-rated comedy Ted was scheduled for release July 13th. But Universal execs moved quickly to grab this date now that Paramount’s G.I. Joe: Retaliation sequel moved off June 29th to add … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation was supposed to come out this summer on June 29th. But I’ve learned that Paramount is moving the movie nine months to March 29, 2013, to add 3D. “We’re going to do … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CAA signed Korean actor Lee Byung-Hun. He got launched in the U.S. as part of the cast of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and reprises his role in the sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation. He just got cast to … Read More »
The international trailer for the followup to G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra adds Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson to the mix along with Ray Park — and, somehow, Channing Tatum. Hitting the web a day after the latest domestic trailer, this one is cut differently, looks fairly similar but … Read More »
The latest trailer from Paramount‘s sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation hit the web today, giving more screen time to Bruce Willis and the film’s plot. Last night at CinemaCon, director Jon Chu called his star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson “franchise Viagra”. Do you agree? The movie, co-produced by MGM … Read More »
Dwayne Johnson signed on for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the followup to Rise Of The Cobra. Channing Tatum returns and the trailer saves what might be the best, for last. Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 2, Step Up 3D), it’s slated to open June 29.
Paramount has released the first trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the sequel to its 2009 action film about elite soldiers fighting the good fight. It is set to open June 29, 2012. Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum and Adrianne Palicki star — and the original Joe suits up, too. Jon Chu … Read More »