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G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra screenwriters sue Paramount over compensation for Retaliation

05.07.2013

Just when Paramount was riding high over the success with their delayed G.I. JOE: RETALIATION comes a new lawsuit that may throw a speed bump in their desire to make a third movie. The screenwriters for THE RISE OF COBRA are suing the studio claiming that Paramount, MGM, Hasbro and producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura stole their ideas and work for the second film in the series.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, writers David Elliot and Paul Lovett had a contract with Paramount to write the sequel if they were the sole writers on THE RISE OF COBRA, which was cowritten with Stuart Beattie. Despite that, they were asked to begin working on plots and characters for a sequel shortly after the release of THE RISE OF COBRA before being told Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese would be taking over duties on G.I. JOE: RETALIATION, leaving Elliot and Lovett out of work after having provided the studio with an "exhaustive array of documents, verbal presentations, original conceptual art, photo collages, video clips, mock movie posters with suggested subtitles, marketing images and mock marketing trailers."

Now that G.I. JOE: RETALIATION has grossed over $100 million domestically, the lawsuit is underway. Here is part of their contention about the film:

"Even the most cursory review of the Joe Retaliation Movie and the Plaintiffs' Work reveals that they are substantially similar in every material way," says the complaint. "While Plaintiffs make no claims to the elements of the Joe Retailiation Movie that are subject to Hasbro's pre-existing copyrights in the G.I. Joe characters, Plaintiffs take great issue with those elements of the Joe Retailiation Movie that are the expression of Plaintiffs' personal creativity and Plaintiffs' unique creation of Plaintiffs' Proposed Sequel that were not part of the Joe Cobra Movie and that were not scenes a faire of the genre."

The ousted writers are seeking over $20 million which is a sixth of RETALIATION's overall domestic haul. With Paramount refusing to comment, it begs the question if there is any merit to the suit. Will it delay a third film? Probably not, but it also begs the question: someone wants credit for writing G.I. JOE: RETALIATION?

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