As the Academy Awards night apporaches, controversy grows around the films selected by the Jury.
"The shape of water", the film by Guillermo del Toro, nominated for 13 Academy Awards, is accused of plagiarism: the film would be based on the 1969 play 'Let Me Hear You Whisper' of the Pulitzer Prize Paul Zindel . The legal action against the film's director, producer and movie house was presented by David Zindel, the son and heir of the famous playwright, who blames them for not having "shamelessly copied the story, the elements and the characters" of his father's comedy, even using the same words.
The word is now up to the Court, called to determine whether Zindel's allegations are founded. However, it is not the first time in Hollywood that there have been battles on accusations of plagiarism, especially in the presence of films of expected success.
The classic Western by Sergio Leone For a handful of dollars is one of the peaks of its kind, thanks to the incredible performance of Clint Eastwood, a tramp gunner who, during his wanderings, ends up in the middle of a conflict between two families in a small village on the border with Mexico. Unfortunately, the film is also an unauthorized remake of a film by Akira Kurosawa entitled Yojimbo. Kurosawa sent Leone a letter saying "Nice movie, but it was my Movie", and sued him asking for a percentage of the proceeds. The two agreed for a reimbursement of 100 thousand dollars and 15% of profits worldwide.
Another striking case was that of Terminator. Harlan Ellison is one of the most litigious authors in the American science fiction world, and there are now dozens of lawsuits against people accused of stealing his ideas. However, the lawsuit he filed against James Cameron for The Terminator was slightly different. Ellison wrote an episode of Beyond the Limits called Demon With a Glass Hand, which told the story of a robot soldier who, disguised as a human, is sent back in time. Orion Pictures decided to pay compensation before the case arrived in court, and Ellison earned money and was credited to the film.
Last we hanve to mention the case of "Coming to America” a movie starrign Eddie Murphy.
In 1982, the well-known screenwriter Art Buchwald wrote a treatment for Paramount entitled King for a day, in which the protagonist was a rich and arrogant African ruler who traveled to America. The protagonist should have been Eddie Murphy. Paramount bought the treatment and spent a few years in a vain attempt to find someone who wrote the screenplay before leaving the project in 1985. The rights returned to Buchwald, which sold them to Warner Brothers. Later Paramount made a film with Eddie Murphy who played the part of a rich and ignorant African ruler traveling to the United States. The film was titled The Prince Looking Wife. Buchwald was neither paid nor credited, so he sued but Paramount agreed privately with him for an unknown figure.