This Week In Frivolous Lawsuits: MacGruber vs. MacGyver

By Katey Rich 2010-02-03 10:03:04discussion comments
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This Week In Frivolous Lawsuits: MacGruber vs. MacGyver image
For some reason, despite the fact that we've been disappointed over and over again, a lot of people are excited about the MacGruber movie, which could follow in the grand tradition of most movies based on SNL sketches or could actually be good. But you know who isn't exactly excited about seeing Will Forte and his mullet fail to save the world? The people who are trying to get a MacGyver reboot going.

Latino Review is hearing from a source in the know that Lee Zlotoff, the creator of MacGyver who is working on the new film at New Line, "in the wings I hear tell with the Madre of all lawsuits. Not just to shut the film down and save us from this cinematic hell.  No.  He’s looking at Relativity for dolares.  Mucho Dolares.  And it seems likely that he would get it too."

Relativity Media, which is funding the MacGruber movie, has apparently overstepped the boundaries of parody into straight-up stealing MacGyver's intellectual property-- at least according to this guy. THR talked to both Zlotoff's lawyer, who said simple "We feel they're infringing our rights," and First Amendment attorney, who sees MacGruber as "clearly parody."

The Latino Review scooper's claim that the Relativity Media folks didn't do their legal homework seems ridiculous-- Hollywood studios have acres and acres of lawyers, and it probably didn't take long for them to come up with a solid fair use parody argument. But we live in a world in which Brittany Murphy's widower is suing Warner Bros. for wrongful death. It doesn't take much to get a lawsuit going in this world, but it probably takes an actual argument to win it. We'll let you know if there's even a remote chance that this will actually hurt MacGruber whatsoever.
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