BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Showbiz 
Music 
Film 
Arts 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Reviews 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Friday, 5 May, 2000, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Spielberg sued over Soldiers film
Steven Spielberg  and wife Kate Kapshaw:
Spielberg and wife Kate Kapshaw: Spielberg is being sued over a storyline
Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks studio is being sued by a film-maker who claims the director stole the plot of his movie to make the 1998 animation Small Soldiers.

Gregory Grant says the Saving Private Ryan director considered turning his award-winning short Ode to GI Joe into a feature but turned it down and made Small Soldiers instead.

He says the action comedy made by Spielberg's DreamWorks SKG studio in which toy soldiers come to life "directly copied several distinctive scenes" from his short film.


Small Soldiers
Small Soldiers tells the story of intelligent and vicious warring toy soldiers

A spokeswoman for DreamWorks, said: "We haven't been served with a lawsuit, so we can't comment."

According to the legal action, Ode to GI Joe appeared in several film festivals in 1991.

The film also won a student award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Hi-tech battle

Grant claims he and executives of Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment production company discussed making the short into a full-length film, which Amblin eventually turned down.

However, Grant alleges that two weeks later Amblin and Spielberg announced they were making the animated movie that became Small Soldiers.

Small Soldiers was produced and distributed by DreamWorks and Universal. It centres around the son of a toy store owner who tries out some new hi-tech action figures: The Commando Elite and the Gorgonites.

Unfortunately, both sets of toys have been designed with computer chips to move, talk and destroy each other.

A battle ensues, in which the full destructive ability of creative computer chips fighting one another is revealed - with surprising results.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

15 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Spielberg to wrap Kubrick project
01 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Spielberg's top directing honour
27 Oct 99 | Entertainment
Spielberg goes online
12 Aug 99 | Entertainment
Spielberg's top military honour
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to other Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories