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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 July 2006, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Writer sues Disney over Pirates
Johnny Depp
Pirates stars Johnny Depp in the lead role of Captain Jack
A screenwriter is accusing Disney of stealing his ideas for the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Royce Mathew has filed a legal suit alleging he produced detailed plans for a story about a supernatural pirate ship in the 1980s.

He contends he created and wrote screenplays and storyboards which he filed with the US Copyright Office and pitched to Hollywood.

Disney and distributors Buena Vista said the action had "no merit".

Record opening

The legal action, filed in Los Angles, also names Jerry Bruckheimer, one of Hollywood's most powerful film and TV producers.

He said the original Pirates of the Caribbean film, released in 2003, was based on a theme park ride.

Mr Mathew says his plans for a "super natural pirate movie" included drawings of a boat named the Black Pearl, the name of the ship in Pirates of the Caribbean.

He is seeking a unspecified damages and an injunction against the movie franchise and related "infringing works".

The Pirates of the Caribbean sequel, Dead Man's Chest, has been doing robust business at the box office, taking a record $135.6m (73.7m) in its opening weekend in North America.

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