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Luc Besson found guilty for plagiarizing Carpenter's Escape from New York

07.29.2016by: Brennan Klein
Escape From New York Lockout Luc Besson John Carpenter

A very unique court case was decided today. An appeals court ruled that Luc Besson has been found guilty of plagiarizing John Carpenter's ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK for his 2012 effort LOCKOUT.

He has been ordered to pay Carpenter and his co-writer Nick Castle more than half a million dollars, as the script was found to have "massively borrowed" an incriminating amount of similarities, including a hero that "got into the prison by flying in a glider/space shuttle, had to confront inmates led by a chief with a strange right arm, found hugely important briefcases and meet a former sidekick who then dies” and “at the end (of both films the heroes) keep secret documents recovered during their mission.”

That's hard to argue with, but what does this mean for the film community at large? Hollywood is essentially composed of movies that cannibalize each other. PARANORMAL ENTITY rips off PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, which copies the central conceit of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, which came just one year after THE LAST BROADCAST, which imitates the faux-realism of FACES OF DEATH, which comes after the found footage elements of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. Nothing is original, so why this movie? And why now?

It's unsettling, so while I approve of Carpenter still getting money from his movies no matter the avenue, I'm not sure I'm cheering for this verdict.

Extra Tidbit: Do you think LOCKOUT copied ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK?
Source: IndieWire

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