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MGM, James Bond Producers Sue Universal Over ‘Section 6′ Project

Filmbolag bråkar om James Bond

Filmbolaget MGM och bolaget Danjaq, som äger filmrättigheterna till den hemlige agenten James Bond, stämmer filmbolaget Universal, rapporterar Deadline.

MGM och Danjaq hoppas i och med stämningen att Universal tvingas lägga ned ”Section 6”.

Bakom bråket ligger Universals kommande projekt ”Section 6” som handlar om hur den brittiska underrättelsetjänsten MI6 bildades under första världskriget.

Enligt stämningsansökan anser MGM och Danjaq att delar av ”Section 6”-manuset - bland annat en smokingklädd hjälte, en megalomanisk superskurk och en komplott för att störta England - innehåller så många likheter med James Bond-serien att det är en tydlig fråga om plagiat.

”I stället för att försöka skapa någonting originellt har Universal valt att gå den enkla vägen”, står det i ansökan.
MGM Logo movies  Metro Goldwyn Mayer Trade Mark

MGM and James Bond producers Danjaq have filed a copyright infringement suit against NBCUniversal claiming that the studio’s “Section 6″ feature project is a rip off of the lucrative 007 franchise.

The suit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, also names screenwriter Aaron Berg.

“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 (double-O) secret agent number on a mission to save England from the diabolical plot of a megalomanical villain,” the suit states.

“Most moviegoers would assume from that description alone that this lawsuit concerns the next James Bond picture. It does not. This lawsuit is instead about a James Bond knockoff that defendant Universal is readying for production, based on a screenplay that defendant Berg wrote.”

The suit claims that the project, which is directed by Joe Cornish (“Attack the Block”) and stars Jack O’Connell (“Unbroken”), “misappropriates from the James Bond works far beyond the signature aspects of James Bond,” but that it copies “in detail nearly every aspect of the characters, plots dialogue, themes. setting, mood and other key elements of the copyrighted James Bond literary works and motion pictures.”

The courts have been ever-defining the extent to which copyright covers not just to specific projects, but to unique characters. In 1995, the federal court in Los Angeles ruled in favor of MGM in its contention that a Honda commercial violated its copyrights with a commercial that evoked Bond, even though that name was not used.

MGM and U have tangled over the project for several months, the suit states. MGM claims that it learned of the existence of the screenplay and that U had acquired rights to it, and then fired off a letter. U responded that it had not even optioned the project, and that had “no intention” of violating the copyright, MGM’s complaint states.

But last month, reports that U had hired a director, lead actor and four producers for the project triggered MGM’s ire again. MGM asked to see the most recent version of the screenplay, but Universal refused, the complaint states. MGM contends that U’s refusal to provide “concrete exculpatory information” about the latest version of “Section 6″ “leads to the conclusion that Universal is continuing to develop a screenplay that constitutes an unauthorized derivative work based upon plaintiffs’ copyrighted James Bond works,” MGM says.

The screenplay for the project states that it is premised on historical facts, the lawsuit states, but MGM and Danjaq claim that the “core elements are fictional.” It also contends that even though U asserted that the project is a historical account of the formation of MI6 immediately after World War I, “the dialog and relationships between the characters are strikingly out of place and years ahead of their time for a story set in 1918.”

The suit contends that “Section 6″ “imbue their James Bond knockoff with a ‘license to kill,’ employment by “Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and a 00 agent number. All are creations of Ian Fleming, MGM argues.

MGM and Danjaq are seeking an injunction to prevent Universal from what they claim is an infringement on the Bond works.

A spokeswoman for Universal had no comment.

MGM  is represented in the suit by Bobby Schwartz, Cassandra Seto and Brian Finkelstein of O’Melveny & Myers and Marc Becker of Quinn Emanuel.


James Bond till salu!

Känner du för att äga James Bond-franchisen och vara delägare i de kommande filmerna om Bilbo? Nu är det möjligt att förverkliga den drömmen. Om du har sådär ett par miljarder att lägga på den.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer är med sitt rytande lejon en av världens kändaste filmbolag och äger bland annat alla rättigheter till James Bond. MGM står dessutom som delfinansiär till Peter Jackson och Guillermo Del Toros fantasyprojekt Bilbo, samt en hel del andra kommande filmprojekt.

Men studion har också stora skulder, vilket är anledningen till försäljningen. Spekulationerna om vem som ska ta över är förstås igång, men budgivningen har ännu bara börjat.

MGM grundades 1924, då biografägaren Marcus Loew köpte och slog samman Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures och Louis B Mayer Pictures. MGM äger även rättigheterna till United Artists, som grundades 1919 av regissören D. W. Griffith och filmstjärnorna Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks och Charlie Chaplin, och därmed även rättigheterna till bl.a. Bond och Rosa Pantern.

Källa: Variety

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MGM Studios - For Sale

MGM Studios' financial troubles will soon be coming to a sad end. Back in September, it was reported that MGM was in such poor shape that they might be forced to auction off their assets, including James Bond and The Hobbit. That day has come to pass. Variety reports that MGM Studios is officially on the auction block.

MGM has been given a month of breathing space from their interest payments, time they plan on using to begin:
"a process to explore various strategic alternatives including operating as a standalone entity, forming strategic partnerships and evaluating a potential sale of the company."

But all hopes of survival may rest on what they sell off from their glorious history, including a library of 4,000 titles, the logo, the United Artists company, James Bond, and half ownership in The Hobbit. Time Warner, News Corp, and Lionsgate are said to be interested in all of the above.

As their library scatters to the four winds, it'll be really interesting to see what remakes and reboots it spawns. Remember, Robocop was on the MGM remake slate, and surely some hungry studio will snap that up. The Cannon Films and ITV Global Entertainment collections are just ripe for harvesting. Perhaps you'll finally see a Lifeforce movie, or a remake of Capricorn One, or an aspiring Tarantino type will buy up all those American International Picture rights and revive motorcycle gang movies. Sure, we all want to know who will wind up with James Bond, but it'll be far more fascinating if someone tries to remake Psych-Out. *

*It's possible this is considered one of AIP's "early" films, though it's unclear where that cut off date is

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MGM Logo movies 
Metro Goldwyn Mayer Trade Mark
MGM Logo movies  Metro Goldwyn Mayer Trade Mark
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is an independent, privately-held motion picture, television, home video, and theatrical production and distribution company. The company owns the world's largest library of modern films, comprising approximately 4,000 titles, and over 10,400 episodes of television programming. Its film library has received 205 Academy Awards, one of the largest award winning collections in the world, and includes numerous successful film franchises, including James Bond, Pink Panther and Rocky. MGM is owned by an investor consortium comprised of Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Sony Corporation of America, Comcast Corporation, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners and Quadrangle Group.

MGM Logo movies  Metro Goldwyn Mayer Trade Mark


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