Well, this could get interesting—turns out that a U.K. screenwriter, Jake Mandeville-Anthony, is suing Disney and Pixar for allegedly basing Cars and its upcoming sequel, the cleverly-titled Cars 2, on his original scripts that were written and submitted in the 1990s. Reminds me of the time Michael Bay totally swiped my original filmscript, A Bunch of Lights Flash Before Some Noises Go Off and Then a Hot Chick Does Something Hot Chick-ish Near a Sports Car and Then End Credits, and turned it into a career-long series of adaptations. Not cool, Bay!
The Hollywood Reporter has it that:
“According to the complaint, he created a three-part screenplay titled “Cookie & Co.,” about the true-life adventure race-car driver Michael Owen Perkins, who won a 1988 race, and a second work titled “Cars,” which included a treatment, sample screenplay, 46 animated car character descriptions, 10 cars character sketches, and a marketing and merchandising plan.”
Ok, fair enough, but not exactly proof positive, right? I mean coincidences happen and…
“Mandeville says he sent copies of the works to various production companies, including Disney. The plaintiff also says he met in person with a Lucasfilm executive named Jim Morris in 1993 and delivered copies of his work. Pixar and Lucasfilm have had relations with each other since the 1980s, when Pixar acquired certain divisions of the George Lucas company. In 2005, according to the complaint, Morris joined Pixar and is currently general manager at the company.”
Ok, well, yeah, that doesn’t look good, Mr. Mandville-Anthony, but there are still plenty of accidental similarities in art that…
“In Manderville’s latest complaint, he points to a long list of similarities among the characters in each of the works. Both have characters named ”Stanley” modeled after a Model T Ford. Both have lead characters modeled after a “James Aston-Martin” sports car. Both feature broken down truck characters, doctors as authority figures, glitzy showgirl movie star females, Italians, rich business cars past their prime, and so on.”
Mandeville-Anthony is “alleging copyright infringement and breach of implied contract,” and since Cars grossed around $450 million, he might want to start practicing saying “ch-ching, ch-ching, ch-ching!” every morning when he wakes up.
What do you think of the lawsuit?