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Court Tosses Suit Against Sylvester Stallone Over EXPENDABLES Script
Originality of Stallone’s creation vindicated.
If you ever wonder why it is so difficult to get a script read by anybody of consequence within the hierarchy of show business, I refer you the curious case of Marcus Webb. Webb wrote a script entitled The Cordoba Caper, and then proceeded to shop it around town for potential suitors. The Cordoba Caper is the story of a group of elite mercenaries brought together to take on a dictator.
Around the same time, Sylvester Stallone was putting together a movie about an elite team of mercenaries taking on a something-or-other, called The Expendables. Stallone, having a few friends around town and apparently being owed a large number of favors, was able to get his take on the whole elite-team-of-mercenaries thing made, by assembling an elite team of physically-fit, moderately talented actors to play the roles of the aforementioned team.
The Expendables was made. The Expendables was released. The Expendables made money.
One of the people who saw The Expendables was Marcus Webb. While sitting through it, the thought probably occurred to him: This reminds me a lot of that goddamned thing that I wrote. Now, it’s unclear if it reminded him of anything else, like say, The A-Team, or Predator, or Delta Force. But certainly, The Expendables reminded Webb of The Cordoba Caper, so much so in fact, that he figured while he had been shopping it around a couple years before, certainly Team Stallone must have seen it, and thus stolen liberally from it, in fashioning The Expendables.
So, in the grand Hollywood tradition, Webb sued, apparently without bothering to establish any kind of chain of custody between himself and Stallone as it pertained to his script. In fact, it appears all Webb really had was a deep suspicion of wrongdoing. Consequently, the judge, according to Deadline, tossed the case.
Marcus Webb is one of several thousand people looking to get a script made in Hollywood. They roam around shoving copies of their work into every hand and cubby hole that isn’t already occupied by something else. The reason why nobody who matters will ever look at a script on spec is because they know if they make anything that resembles said script in any way, they stand likely to be sued for theft of intellectual property in some way or another by the prospective writer who brought their car around at the Viper Room. Nobody’s looking for that kind of aggravation.
Meanwhile, The Expendables did well enough in theaters and on video to warrant The Expendables 2, which is due out August 17th.