A lawsuit has been filed against Paramount and the producers of Paranormal Activity 4 alleging they stole ideas and story elements from a pitch meeting. Per THR, “Writer-director Michael Costanza has sued Paramount and producers of Paranormal Activity 4 claiming that the film used specific concepts from his work without permission and without credit or compensation.” Costanza also wrote and directed The Collingswood Story.
This meeting seems to have taken place around the development period of Paranormal Activity 2, since he submitted his take back in 2010. “Costanza says he was told at the time that producers Steven Schneider and Spencer Medof were not interested in his concepts… He now says that the story he wanted to tell is almost identical to what was later used in ‘Paranormal Activity 4′… Costanza is suing for unspecified damages and an order forcing the defendants to destroy all materials based on his concepts.”
Costanza also alleges that PA4 uses his “material [which] included details of webcam chats by characters in their late teens.”
Needless to say this is a complicated manner and these kind of lawsuits happen with a fair degree of regularity. We’ll keep you informed in regard to any developments.
Update: Per AICN the film starts shooting on March 14th in Vancouver and Hawaii and will operate under the working title of “Nautilus.”
Legendary and Warner Bros.’ claim that their Gareth Edwards directed Godzilla remake is due to start shooting in March – but it hit more than a few snags over the weekend. One potentially good development is that Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption, The Mist, “The Walking Dead”) has been hired to do a pass on the script. I’m not sure how they can fully accomodate and implement a rewrite in time for a March start date, but weirder things have happened. Then comes the news that producers Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes, Gangster Squad) and Roy Lee (The Departed, The Strangers, The Grudge) have been let go from the project.
This could potentially head to lawsuit country, there have been some reports that the parting is amicable, but this morning it appears as though all is not well. Per Deadline, “Actually, it could prove as toxic to Godzilla than the time the fire breather took on the smog monster Hedorah. This one’s going to wind up in the courts, I’m told. My understanding is, Lin and Lee refused to reduce the fees they signed on for when the original deal was made. Legendary brass feels it has the latitude to get rid of them, and is doing just that, exercising a pay or play clause and paying them upfront money to go away, with no back-end or credit on the film. The potential back-end on a global franchise is where the big bucks are.”
Yikes. Godzilla is still (sort of) expected to hit theaters May 16th, 2014. READ MORE
Co-creators Robert Kirkman, and Tony Moore have been in a tough legal battle over the rights to The Walking Dead for the better part of 2012, and The Hollywood Reporter reports that the parties have reached an agreement. Moore sued Kirkman in February, claiming that he was deceived by Kirkman, “Kirkman is a proud liar and fraudster who freely admits that he has no qualm about misrepresenting material facts in order to consummate business transactions.” Moore filed the lawsuit wanting half the proceeds from the franchise (including the TV series).
The Hollywood Reporter was sent the following statement, which seems a bit more amicable: “Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore are pleased to jointly announce that they have reached an amicable agreement in their respective lawsuits and all parties have settled the entire matter to everyone’s mutual satisfaction. Neither side will be discussing any details but will instead happily and productively spend their time focused on their own work and move on in their lives.” READ MORE
As most of you have heard by now, Gary Friedrich, the creator of the beloved Ghost Rider is being sued by Marvel Comics. Gary has been given a hefty $17,000 bill to be paid to the corporation. Comic fans and creators alike have been banding together over the past week in order to help Gary and his family in their time of need.
Obviously, this is an important time for creator rights in comics, it seems more and more lawsuits are arising every day. The feuds between fellow creators, corporations, and publishers are stemming up all over the place. While it seems that it is time for a change, that will not happen over night. Please see more links below. You can donate to Gary here.
I’m willing to bet that when Jesse Eisenberg was cast in George VanBuskirk’s Camp Hell (now on DVD from Lionsgate), he was beyond ecstatic. I’d even go as far as to say he called his parents and said, “Mom, Dad, guess what? I’m gonna be in another movie!”
But now he’s a big star, you know, the guy from Zombieland and The Social Network. And being a big star, it’s damaging to your reputation to be featured in a crappy direct-to-disc title. I understand it stings, especially now, but Jesse is the one who accepted money, signed a contract and agreed to take part in the indie production.
Yet, Eisenberg has decided to play the “douche card” and is suing both Lionsgate and Grindstone for featuring him on the cover even though he only cameos for about 5 minutes. So what? You can read all about the breaking news inside. READ MORE
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Marilyn Manson’s insurance coverage will pay $175,000 to settle a lawsuit brought against him by a former member of his band, but all of the money will go to the plaintiff’s attorney, a lawyer for the goth rocker said today. Stephen Bier, better known by the stage names Pogo and Madonna Wayne Gacy, brought his breach-of contract case in Los Angeles Superior Court in August 2007 against Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner.
Bier, who was seeking more than $20 million, alleged Manson used money from their former band partnership to buy items ranging from Nazi paraphernalia to a $150,000 engagement ring for ex-wife Dita Von Teese, depriving him of his partnership share. Manson’s lawyer, Howard E. King, said Bier will not get any proceeds and that the settlement check will be made payable to Bier’s lead attorney to cover the costs of the latter’s investment in the case. King maintains the lawsuit never should have been filed. “After being dismissed from the band, Bier could have focused on resurrecting or attempting to pursue a music career,” King said. “Instead, he devoted the last several years to complaining about Manson’s alleged spending habits and extravagant behavior to anyone who would listen.” READ MORE