You know that great idea you had for a TV show or movie? Regardless of whether you came up with it on your own or not, there is definitely someone out there who is willing to sue you over it. 50 Cent (a.k.a. Curtis Jackson) is in the litigious headlights of someone who claims that the plot behind the Starz drama Power was ripped completely from something he’d written in the past.
Here’s how it all shakes out, at least according to the plaintiff Larry Johnson. Back in 2005, he sent a finished manuscript for a book called Tribulation of a Ghetto Kid to Nikki Turner, who was an employee at G-Unit Books, a company of 50 Cent’s. They apparently passed on it, and the book was published at a different company, but Johnson thinks that Turner had to have shown the book to 50 Cent himself, because there are several elements in Power that he believes are taken straight from his work. And he thinks that it’s worth a whopping $200 million for 50 Cent and Starz to make it right.
What kinds of things? According to TMZ, Johnson points out that the show’s main character, James “Ghost” St. Patrick (played by Omari Hardwick), has a goatee, and that the character in his book also has a goatee. (Amazing!) Johnson says that his book’s main character has a best friend with a heated temper, just like Ghost’s best friend Tommy, played by Joseph Sikora. As well, the book’s main character owns the busiest nightclub in Atlanta, while Ghost is the head of the hottest club in New York City. And while I’m sure this isn’t the final comparison Johnson makes, he also points out that he uses the nickname “Ghost” as his own pen name. I don’t even know what to think about that.
I know I’m no judge or anything, but if those are the biggest points of Johnson’s case, it doesn’t seem like the most hardcore lawsuit currently out there in Hollywood. Especially when he’s asking for $200 million. Though if it can be proven that 50 Cent did indeed look at his manuscript back when it was at G-Unit Books, that might give his lawyers a firm ground to stand on. But I’m not sure how that could get proven all these years later. I mean, just look at that goatee, though. Come on!
It’s unclear at this point just how Johnson’s case will move forward, but we’re interested in hearing what ends up happening. Season 2 of Power just wrapped up on August 15, though the drama already secured a Season 3 order months before. Will this lawsuit change things before Season 3 gets here?
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.