Stallone Sued For Stealing The Expendables Storyline

By David Wharton 2011-10-26 15:45:41discussion comments
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Accusations of plagiarism are hardly rare in Hollywood, some more unlikely than others. Now the flaming litigious eye of Sauron has landed on Sylvester Stallone and his elderly-action franchise, The Expendables. Reuters is reporting that Stallone is the target of a new lawsuit alleging that The Expendables stole the storyline, as well as specific elements, from another writer's unproduced screenplay.

Writer Marcus Webb filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court. He's claiming that Stallone's The Expendables bears too many similarities, and in some cases is identical, to a screenplay he wrote entitled The Cordoba Caper. The suit also names Stallone's co-screenwriter David Callaham, Millennium Films, Nu Image Films, and Lions Gate Entertainment.

The elements Webb's suit highlights vary from the general -- both scripts tell stories about mercenaries hired to take on a Latin American dictator -- to the more specific -- in both cases the dictator is named General Garza. Webb also claims that both scripts open "with a hostage rescue at sea, off a foreign coast, which has nothing to do with the main plot."

All that being said, how is Stallone supposed to have ripped off the script in question in the first place? Webb apparently registered his Cordoba Caper screenplay, as well as a short story of the same name, with the U.S. Copyright Office back in 2006, and then spent the next few years shopping the script around Hollywood. So it's theoretically possible that Stallone and company could have seen the script, but that's a long way from proving that he did.

Stay tuned to Cinema Blend for more on the case as we hear it. The Expendables 2 is scheduled to open in theaters on August 17th, 2012.
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