Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer are currently facing a lawsuit over their hit franchise Pirates of the Caribbean.
The studio and the producer have been sued by Florida resident Royce Mathew for copyright infringement. The man believes the movies are powered by several ideas he created.
In addition to the characters, Mathew believes that Disney and Bruckheimer stole supernatural elements, storylines, plots, themes, sequence structures, and screenplay elements from him. Instead of properly acknowledging his work, writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio received all the credit.
Mathew filed the lawsuit against Walt Disney Co. and Walt Disney Pictures in US District Court in Florida on Tuesday. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer was also named in the court documents. Mathew stated that he previously reached a settlement with Disney when he sued them over the stolen ideas years ago.
The Florida resident claims that he wrote several supernatural-themed pirate stories back in the 80s and 90s. He even presented these ideas to Disney through Creative Artists Agency and William Morris Agency between 1991 and 1995. Mathew said he also had direct meetings with the studio regarding his stories.
It’s unclear just how much money Mathew hopes to get from Disney for the allegedly stolen Pirates of the Caribbean ideas. However, documents state that he “is entitled, inter alia, to the billions of dollars that Disney has generated, or allowed others to generate, from the defendants’ unauthorized use and exploitation” of the work.
Neither Disney nor Jerry Bruckheimer have responded to the lawsuit as of this writing.
Despite getting sued, the studio appears to be moving forward with the fifth installment in the franchise. Reports suggest that Kon-Tiki directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg have been tapped to helm the project. Disney hopes to have the movie in theaters by 2015.
What do you think about Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer getting sued over Pirates of the Caribbean? Do you believe the lawsuit has merit?