Director Joss Whedon is being sued for a whopping $10 million for allegedly stealing the idea of his 2012 film The Cabin in the Woods from a 2006 novel written by Peter Gallagher. Gallagher, who wrote The Little White Trip: A Night In The Pines, is suing for copyright infringement and wants $10 million in damages. Whedon produced The Cabin in the Woods, and co-wrote it with Drew Goddard, who is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
The book and the movie feature a similar plot, cast, and setting. In Gallagher’s lawsuit, as seen on The Hollywood Reporter, Gallagher states, “Like the book, the film tells the story of five friends (three males and two females) between the ages of 17 and 22 who take a trip to a remote cabin in the woods. The cabin’s previous inhabitants were murdered by the father of the family, who returns to terrorize the group of friends. Throughout, the friends are being filmed and manipulated by persons behind the scenes, inadvertently playing characters in a real-life horror show.”
The lawsuit goes on to say that “the similarities between the two works are striking,” and that the main characters even have similar names. “Even the names of the lead characters are similar. In the book the lead female blonde and brunette characters are named Julie and Dura respectively, whereas in the film they are named Jules and Dana. Similarly, the cabin in the book is called ‘Brinkley Cabin,’ whereas it is the ‘Buckner Cabin,’ in the film.”
The 2012 film stars The Avengers and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth, who was not mentioned in the lawsuit. The Cabin in the Woods hit theaters close to three years ago and grossed an estimated $66 million worldwide. The lengthy lawsuit can be read on The Hollywood Reporter.
Gallagher adds in the complaint, “Comparing the book to the film, the plot, stories, characters, sequence of events, themes, dialogue, and incidents portrayed in the two works are fictional and, in many respects, the elements in the two works are virtually identical.”
We have to admit, after looking at the evidence, Gallagher deserves his $10 million. The plots are way too similar, and the fact that the names are so similar is almost a slap in the face. Pay up Whedon.
Image credit to FameFlynet