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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Studio sued over superhero movie
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Sir Sean Connery stars as Allan Quatermain
A Hollywood producer and a screenwriter are suing 20th Century Fox, accusing it of stealing the idea for the movie The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Martin Poll and Larry Cohen are seeking $100m (60m) in damages, $35m (21m) more than the film made in the US.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, starring Sir Sean Connery, brought together a team of Victorian-era heroes including Captain Nemo and Dorian Gray.

Fox has dismissed the lawsuit as "absurd nonsense".

The company said the film was based on a graphic novel created by comic book creator Alan Moore.

But the lawsuit alleges that Mr Cohen and Mr Poll pitched the idea to Fox several times between 1993 and 1996, under the name the Cast of Characters.

It goes on to allege that Fox commissioned Mr Moore to create the comic book as "smokescreen" for poaching the idea, and cutting the pair out of the production.


"The similarities between the two products are so striking that there's no question that one has been taken from the other," the two plaintiffs' lawyer Bijan Amini said.

Mr Cohen was the screenwriter on the Fox thriller Phone Booth, starring Colin Farrell, while Mr Poll has produced Woody Allen's Love and Death and the 1968 film The Lion in Winter.

The pair allege Fox hired screenwriters to adapt Mr Moore's book in 1998, as reported in trade paper Variety, but the novel itself was not finished until the following year.

Fox has previously been forced to pay $19m (13m) to a small publishing firm for plagiarising a script written by a school teacher to make its movie Jingle All the Way, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Fox loses legal fight over script
07 Mar 01  |  Entertainment
Connery 'has worst film accent'
30 Jun 03  |  Entertainment

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