A celebrity being sued isn’t anything new or unusual, especially in Hollywood, but it’s not everyday that you hear of a huge movie star being sued for $1 billion, and that’s exactly what’s happening to Tom Cruise right now.
According to screenwriter Timothy Patrick McLanahan, the script for Cruise’s 2011 film “Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol” was stolen, so he’s taking the actor and the studio Paramount Pictures to court.
McLanahan said that he wrote the script 16-years ago under a different film name, which he quickly received a U.S. copyright for.
“In 1998 I had written a screenplay called ‘Head On,” he wrote in a court document. “After submitting it to the U.S. Copyright Office, ‘Head On’ received a copyright certificate protecting its material and author from unauthorized use. I immediately recognized that the scripts for this movie had been illegally written and produced from ‘Head On’s” 1998 copyright.”
In addition, McLanahan said that he initially reached out to Cruise’s agent Rick Nicita to give him the script, and it ultimately fell on deaf ears. However, 13 years later Paramount Pictures made the film, and it ended up grossing over $600 million. Plus, the DVD sales reached $144.5 million and the movie made another $145 million in subscription sales, and that’s how McLanahan came up with the billion dollar price tag.
It’ll be interesting to see how successful McLanahan will be when it comes to proving that his script was stolen and it’ll be even more interesting to see how much money he’ll be rewarded if he wins.
Some might say that he’s facing an uphill battle, because he’s essentially going against two Hollywood juggernauts in Cruise and Paramount Pictures, who not only have a lot of muscle in the film industry, but endless dollars to spend fighting their case.
There’s a good chance this battle will go on for a very long time, but if McLanahan wins, he’ll obviously be a very, very rich man. Stay tuned.
Image via Wikimedia Commons