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MGM taking legal action to prevent Joe Cornish's WWI spy movie Section 6

04.04.2014

Universal's bid for a James Bond-esque franchise about a British secret agent has hit a snag from MGM due to the fact that the movie has a very similar plot and protagonist to, well, James Bond. Joe Cornish recently signed up to helm SECTION 6 with star Jack O'Connell and Hugh Jackman circling the main lead. The film was looked at as a franchise starter for Universal and here was the basic plotline.

The historical spy thriller follows the World War I-era formation of British intelligence agency MI6 and its first director, Sir George Mansfield Cummings, who served as the inspiration for M in the “James Bond” series.

So, rather than a direct inspiration for 007, SECTION 6 would look at the inspiration for his boss, M. But, apparently MGM and James Bond producer Danjaq felt they were too similar and filed a lawsuit claiming:

“This lawsuit concerns a motion picture project, in active development, featuring a daring, tuxedo-clad British secret agent, employed by ‘His Majesty’s Secret Service,’ with a ‘license to kill,’ and a 00 secret agent number on a mission to save England from the diabolical plot of a megalomanical villain,” the April 2 filing says. “Most moviegoers would assume from that description alone that this lawsuit concerns the next James Bond picture. It does not.”

From my impression, SECTION 6 was going to be more of a historical thriller rather than a straight up action movie, but this lawsuit makes it sound almost exactly like a James Bond flick. As with any lawsuit, MGM could have their panties in a bunch over nothing, but Deadline is saying that Universal refused to share the screenplay, which may mean MGM has something to their case.

MGM is currently prepping the follow-up to SKYFALL with Sam Mendes directing Daniel Craig and the new M played by Ralph Fiennes. No word on how this will affect SECTION 6.

Source: Deadline

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5:42PM on 04/05/2014
Every single comment made so far has either been funny or correct (tho what was the lawsuit against Amistad? And I don't remember the XXX lawsuits either). But this is weird. How does MGM know all this? I'm sure tons of writers and movie makers are trying to think up a way to make a successful spin on the bond franchise, but to go as far as use all the exact terms? MGM is just risking giving this film a lot of attention. And they had no problem with the Bourne films? Or Jack Ryan?
Every single comment made so far has either been funny or correct (tho what was the lawsuit against Amistad? And I don't remember the XXX lawsuits either). But this is weird. How does MGM know all this? I'm sure tons of writers and movie makers are trying to think up a way to make a successful spin on the bond franchise, but to go as far as use all the exact terms? MGM is just risking giving this film a lot of attention. And they had no problem with the Bourne films? Or Jack Ryan?
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3:10PM on 04/05/2014
You can copyright bits of history now?
You can copyright bits of history now?
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3:00AM on 04/05/2014
As I recall the makers of XxX (the vin diesel spy movie) had to jump through various hoops so MGM would be okay with it. Honestly I don't get why they think they own the whole secret agent genre just because they have a stake in Bond. Bond films have some pretty specific traits - unless someone's straight up stealing those they really need to accept that secret agents are fair game for movie plots.
As I recall the makers of XxX (the vin diesel spy movie) had to jump through various hoops so MGM would be okay with it. Honestly I don't get why they think they own the whole secret agent genre just because they have a stake in Bond. Bond films have some pretty specific traits - unless someone's straight up stealing those they really need to accept that secret agents are fair game for movie plots.
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11:10PM on 04/04/2014

mgm just wants some money

this sounds more like some kind of off-shoot Bond prequel at best. but i can totally see them using terms like "license to kill" and "00 agent", which are Bond mainstays. i guess you could make the case that this is along the lines of Marvel introducing the Inhumans in Avengers 3, but calling them "mutants", and Fox getting all butthurt for ripping off the X-Men. maybe. but MGM needs the money. they probably just want some cut if the movie does well.
this sounds more like some kind of off-shoot Bond prequel at best. but i can totally see them using terms like "license to kill" and "00 agent", which are Bond mainstays. i guess you could make the case that this is along the lines of Marvel introducing the Inhumans in Avengers 3, but calling them "mutants", and Fox getting all butthurt for ripping off the X-Men. maybe. but MGM needs the money. they probably just want some cut if the movie does well.
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9:36PM on 04/04/2014
Dick move, MGM. It's not like this is Never Say Never Again again, right?
Dick move, MGM. It's not like this is Never Say Never Again again, right?
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9:55PM on 04/04/2014
Or Thunderball. Kind of reminds me of the lawsuit against Spielberg for Amistad. Just stupid.
Or Thunderball. Kind of reminds me of the lawsuit against Spielberg for Amistad. Just stupid.
4:25PM on 04/04/2014

Universal didn't share the script, yet MGM seems to know it in detail.

MGM is going to waste time and money on this one. The lawyers can phrase it how they want, but if it's historical, it's public domain.
MGM is going to waste time and money on this one. The lawyers can phrase it how they want, but if it's historical, it's public domain.
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3:52PM on 04/04/2014
Carrie
Red Dawn
Robocop
Poltergeist

Isn't there some other shitty movie you should be remaking, MGM?
Carrie
Red Dawn
Robocop
Poltergeist

Isn't there some other shitty movie you should be remaking, MGM?
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