Joss Whedon is being sued because someone believes he stole Cabin in the Woods. Currently busy with the final touches and marketing for Avengers: Age of Ultron, this may be the last thing Whedon needs.
Peter Gallagher, not the actor but the author of the 2006 novel The Little White Trip: A Night In the Pines, claims that Whedon took his novel and made the movie from it without permission. He believes that the Avengers director and Lionsgate deliberately infringed on his copyright, stealing the plot, characters, and even certain sequences and dialogue, from his novel to create the script for the clever take on horror.
Cabin was based on the concept that a group of teenagers had gone to a mysterious place ironically further on the grid than they initially realized. They discover that the whole thing was a sick reality TV show where actual monsters showed up to kill them off for the amusement of an audience. Gallagher alleges that the characters’ names and personalities, such as Julie (Jules), Dana (Dura), and male character tropes, among other things, were identical.
Cabin in the Woods‘ script was co-written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, who both have a respectable library of fan favorite films and TV shows to their names. Yes, let’s forget for a second that Whedon also wrote Alien: Resurrection, the worst film in the entire series.
The belief that Cabin was based on Gallagher’s book has gotten Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon sued for $10 million.
Peter Gallagher had originally written and released The Little White Trip as a free e-book in 2005, after which he published it and registered the title with the Writers Guild of America in 2007, says Cinema Blend. He enjoyed a prosperous selling period on the streets in California.
Over two publishing runs, Gallagher has sold around 7,500 copies.
— CINEMABLEND (@cinemablend) April 15, 2015
Neither Whedon or Goddard have responded to the Cabin in the Woods lawsuit, which seems well timed just a couple of weeks before the theatrical release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. It seems that what got Joss Whedon sued took Gallagher three years to finalize.
This is surprisingly similar to what happened just before the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past, when witnesses suddenly began coming forward and accusing Bryan Singer of sexual assault.
It is unknown if the timing is intentional, but it certainly raises questions about where Whedon and Goddard got the idea for Cabin in the Woods.
Do you think Joss Whedon infringed on Gallagher’s copyright, or is he simply being sued for making money on a similar story?
[Image via Mike Windle / Getty Images]