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