13 Movies That Were Sued into Oblivion

You know your story is derivative when six people sue you for copyright infringement.
13 Movies That Were Sued into Oblivion

Whether these movies “borrowed from” or were “inspired by” some previous works or not, they still found themselves on the business end of a lawsuit. Time to activate the best lawyer your studio can afford, and plead your case. And from the looks of these cases, the thievery claims aren’t always about the story itself. Architects, sculptors, and tattoo artists are on the lookout for their work in your work, so don’t just go filming any old prop, set dressing, or design.

Oh, and if your movie is “based on true events,” you might want to check in with any still-living people you’d like to portray. They might have some serious objections to the light you’ve cast them in. They say that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission, but when forgiveness ends up costing you millions of dollars, maybe permission really was the easier (and cheaper) route. Look, we’re just trying to save you some serious legal headaches here. We’ve done the research, and we just don’t want to see your project among these 13 movies that were sued into oblivion.

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Who didn’t sue ‘Borat’?

CRACKED BORAT was sued by... Well, everyone. The villagers of Glod, Romania sued for implying they were incestuous. The two frat bros in the van scene sued for defamation, and Jeffrey Lemmerond sued for using his image. Artist Esma Redžepova was the only winner. She claimed her song was used without permission, and was awarded €26,000 out of her €800,000 lawsuit.

20th Century Studios


And after all those safety precautions…

CRACKED Paramount gave an extra injured shooting TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON $18.5 million. In 2010, extra Gabriella Cedillo was seriously injured by a bracket that became dislodged from a stunt car, and she suffered permanent brain damage. Her family sued and settled for $18.5 million.

Paramount Pictures

NBC News

12 Monkeys, 1 lost lawsuit.

CRACKED 12 MONKEYS legally had to include an inspired by credit. The set of the interrogation scene was so similar to architect Lebbeus Woods' Neomechanical Tower (Upper) Chamber, that he sued and won a high six- figure settlement. The credits now state that the interrogation room was inspired by his work.

Universal Pictures

​​Film Suits

Jaime Ciero sadly had to let it go. (Sorry).

Another borrowed heavily suit against FROZEN. Arguably the biggest song in Disney history, Let It Go was heavily influenced by Chilean artist Jaime Ciero's song Volar. Не sued for copyright infringement, but the statute of limitations had run out, and the case was dismissed. CRACKED



We personally think Paul Giamatti did a great job.

CRACKED Jerry Heller sued om CTV STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON for his villainous depiction. Не claimed that the N.W.A biopic portrayed him as causing their breakup, and used his name and likeness without permission. Не filed a lawsuit in 2015, but died 11 months later. His lawyer insinuated that the movie caused his fatal heart attack.

Universal Pictures


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