A screenwriter has filed a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against Tom Cruise, Paramount Pictures and 10 other defendants, alleging that the idea for the box office hit Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was stolen from a script he wrote.
In court papers obtained by ET that were filed on December 20, 2013, screenwriter Timothy Patrick McLanahan alleges that he came up with the original idea for Cruise's 2011 action film, which he claims was based on a script called Head On that he allegedly wrote in 1998.
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In the court documents, McLanahan states that he submitted his screenplay for Head On to the US Copyright Office and "received a copyright certificate protecting its material and author from unauthorized use." He added that his original script was first rejected by the William Morris Agency, but then allegedly "shopped the script around the world ... including [to] Tom Cruise's Rick Nicita, top agent with Creative Artist Agency."
McLanahan said the plot similarities were obvious between his Head On script and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. "I immediately recognized that the scripts for this movie had been illegally written and produced from Head On's 1998 copyright," he alleges in the court documents. The $1 billion lawsuit seeks damages to cover Ghost Protocol's box office and DVD sales, movie rentals and subscription sales.
All 12 defendants are coming together to evaluate the allegatinos before filing an official response to the lawsuit.