UPDATE: Bert Fields Slams “Bizarre” $1B ‘Ghost Protocol’ Lawsuit Against Tom Cruise, Paramount & Others
UPDATE, 10:12 AM: Tom Cruise’s longtime lawyer wasted little time responding to the $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit filed against his client, Paramount Pictures, CEO Brad Grey, Skydance and David Ellison, JJ Abrams and others over 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. “Tom Cruise has never stolen anything from anyone. This bizarre lawsuit against 13 people for combined copyright infringement and ‘age discrimination’ will be quickly dismissed by the Court,” Bert Fields said in a statement just sent to Deadline.
PREVIOUS, 8:14 AM: Accusations of stolen screenplay ideas and the lawsuits that follow are pretty standard stuff in Hollywood. Some come from established writers but many come from creditless claimants banging on the gates for big bucks seeking what they say is rightfully theirs. In that vein, Timothy Patrick McLanahan has filed a $1 billion copyright infringement suit (read it here) against Tom Cruise, Paramount Pictures, studio CEO Brad Grey, Skydance Pictures and David Ellison, JJ Abrams and Bryan Burk (who is called Brian Burke in the suit) and their Bad Robot company and more over 2011’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. Representing himself, McLanahan is alleging that the successful fourth MI pic was based on a script he wrote more than 15 years ago titled Head On. “Upon reviewing and watching the script and movie of Ghost Protocol, I immediately recognized that the scripts for this movie had been illegally written and produced from Head On’s 1998 copyright. Ghost Protocol was released on December 16, 2010 and this lawsuit is being filed within three years of when that movie was released,” he states in the 10-page-plus exhibits federal court filing in California. In the suit, lodged December 20, 2013 and filed on January 13, McLanahan also claims intellectual property theft and age discrimination and basing his damages claim on the more than $694 million the pic has made worldwide and what he says is “were DVD and blu-ray sales of $144,500,000.”
Catch up with the best of this week’s film stories on Deadline:
The Day JFK Was Shot: 50 Years Later, Hollywood Remembers
By Dominic Patten - In remembrance of the 35th president, I asked some of the industry’s most notable and insightful individuals — a few of whom had seen JFK just before his death — where they were when they heard the news of the shooting and what they experienced that day. Here’s what they told me…
AFM: Schlock Still Rocks In Santa Monica
By Dominic Patten – Allow me to butcher a Mark Twain quote and say that rumors of schlock’s demise have been greatly exaggerated…
Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Partner Jack Giarraputo Plots Retirement
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: This week, Jack Giarraputo has been telling associates at studios like Sony and Paramount that he will retire after he finishes producing the Warner Bros. comedy Blended, and after that the Chris Columbus-directed Pixels for Sony.
Facts Be Damned! How Traffic Trumped Factual Reporting On Tom Cruise-Mark Wahlberg Non-Story
By Mike Fleming Jr. – The digital age has made entertainment industry coverage more exciting, but the race to post and the hunger for eyeballs leads to increasingly shameful reporting of innuendo and flat-out falsehoods.
The digital age has made entertainment industry coverage more exciting, but the race to post and the hunger for eyeballs leads to increasingly shameful reporting of innuendo and flat-out falsehoods. Last Saturday, I attended a premiere of Out Of The Furnace when The Wrap’s Sharon Waxman comes up to me to scold me for attacking her and her publication. I hadn’t done that in awhile, but I asked if she was specifically sore that I quoted George Clooney accurately when he singled her out for what he said was a 100% false story that his movie The Monuments Men had been pushed to next year because of a pacing problem. She said something about me carrying George’s water. I said I would consider her complaint. Driving away that night, I was thinking, wait a minute, isn’t this the same person who blasted a story in early June proclaiming that Nikki Finke had been fired at Deadline by Jay Penske (100% false) and that she would leave by the end of the week (also 100% false)? And wait, didn’t The Wrap two weeks ago write a breathless exclusive that exposed the anonymous scribe behind the Scandal411 blog as an ABC reporter, only to retract it when ABC proved it was the network employee’s former roommate?
Universal Pictures International has enjoyed a record-breaking 2013, notching $1.8 billion internationally, which breaks the studio’s previous record of $1.794 billion from 2012. That makes this the biggest year in UPI’s history with 14 …
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s conference coverage.
After he dropped out of last Saturday’s Produced By conference due to a late conflict, Tom Cruise – ever punctual and intensely focused, as is his reputation – kept his appointment for a rescheduled session this morning for a production-specific discussion that steered clear of any talk about what he’s up to now. (Hard at work on pre-production as star and producer for Mission: Impossible 5.) Onstage with Academy president Hawk Koch as moderator, Cruise looked sharp and relaxed in navy pullover sweater, open-collar shirt, black slacks and black leather shoes. Speaking in the Zanuck Theater on the Fox lot (roughly 80% full) before an audience of producers and would-be producers, Cruise came across as the class act he is purported to be, speaking with passion about the need to practice “basic decency” and “respect every member of the crew” on the set. He returned repeatedly to the experience of his first significant film – 1981’s Taps – as being key to satisfying his incessant curiosity and his driving need to soak up every aspect of making a film. It ultimately led to his first hands-on producing work on the first Mission: Impossible film in 1996.
Cruise also earnestly spoke about how seriously he takes his leadership role on every film. “I love acting first and foremost, and I don’t have to be the one calling the shots,” he insisted. “I don’t direct myself when I’m acting. I am the actor… But I make sure to get the crews together and make sure they know that we’re a team, and that I want everyone to come in with their A game.”