AceShowbiz - Disney is currently facing a serious copyright lawsuit over Oscar-winning animated movie "Zootopia". Coming from Esplanade Productions, Inc., the lawsuit states that the animated movie copies the work of "Total Recall" scriptwriter Gary L. Goldman.
The court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter state that in 2000 and 2009, Goldman pitched the idea over "Zootopia" to Disney company. "Twice-in 2000 and 2009-Goldman, on behalf of Esplanade, pitched Defendants his 'Zootopia' franchise, which included a live-action component called Looney and an animated component called 'Zootopia'," reads the suit. "Instead of lawfully acquiring Goldman's work, Defendants said they were not interested in producing it and sent him on his way," the suit states.
According to the complainant, Disney's "Zootopia" has allegedly copied the idea of the rejected work and "is substantially similar to the Goldman 'Zootopia'." The 37-page complaint reads, "They copied Goldman's themes, settings, plot, characters, and dialogue-some virtually verbatim. They copied Goldman's title, 'Zootopia'. They even copied Goldman's character designs and artwork."
The complainant wants the court to make Disney show them "all profits derived from their use of the Goldman 'Zootopia' and their production, reproduction, preparation of derivative works based on, distribution, performance, and display of the Disney 'Zootopia' or the 'Zootopia' Merchandise in all media, from all sources, worldwide."
The suit continues, "Defendants be ordered to pay to Esplanade all damages, including future damages, that Esplanade has sustained, or will sustain, as a consequence of the acts complained of herein, and that Esplanade be awarded any profits derived by Defendants as a result of said acts, or as determined by said accounting."
Disney's spokesperson has responded to the lawsuit and debunks the accusation. "Mr. Goldman's lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations. It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn't create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court," says the spokesperson.
Comedy and adventure animated film "Zootopia" was released in 2016. Directed by Bryan Howard and Rich Moore, the movie is set in a city of anthropomorphic animal where a bunny cop and a con artist fox team up to uncover a conspiracy. %cGinnifer Goodwin%, %cJason Bateman% and %cIdris Elba% were among the actors who voiced the characters in the movie.
"Zootopia" earned a massive $1 billion and became the fourth highest-grossing film of 2016. Besides winning the Academy Award, the film won Golden Globe, Critics' Choice Movie Award and Annie Award for Best Animated Feature Film.