David Elliot and Paul Lovett, two of the screenwriters for the first G.I. Joe movie have filed a $23 million copyright infringement suit against Paramount Pictures, MGM, Hasbro and Di Bonaventura Pictures. In their complaint, filed on May 3rd in federal court, they are claiming that much of this year’s G.I Joe: Retaliation sequel was “stolen” from their ideas. The screenwriters are seeking a jury trial and are claiming copyright infringement and breach of implied contract with 'extensive side-by-side comparisons between the pitch the duo were asked to submit to the companies in late 2009 and the actual Retaliation film, the heavily detailed 113-page complaint alleges that the two works are “substantially similar in every material way.”'
The screenwriters claim states they were the writers of the G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra movie back in 2009 along with Stuart Beattie. After the movie was released, they were requested to put together some ideas for a sequel with the understanding that if the ideas were liked that they would get the writing job for the sequel. They organized detailed plotlines and character descriptions and went back and forth with the film's producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, but was rejected. They were informed "On or around December 3, 2009, Defendants notified Plaintiffs that Defendants had decided to engage a different writing team to write the screenplay for the Sequel," the complaint said. The problem was when the movie came out, the writrs are claiming it's their story on the screen in the sequel. "These original inventions, which make Plaintiffs’ Proposed Sequel a compelling piece of story-telling, have been stolen by the PDH Defendants in the hopes of infusing the Joe Retaliation Movie with the blockbuster power of Plaintiffs’ Work," their complaint adds. They have no credit at all for the 2013 sequel. To read the complaint, click here.