7 Movies That Were Plagued By Lawsuits Source:

Sometimes lawsuits are warranted; however, other times, they look more like blatant money grabs. We have noticed that there are some pretty famous movies out there that have been plagued by lawsuits. A few of them, in our opinion, seem warranted; however, the rest should never have found their way into a courtroom. Some of these lawsuits may have been totally forgotten by now, so we figured we would bring them back into public consciousness. We know that everyone loves a good scandal and some of these definitely fit the bill. Here are 7 movies that were plagued by lawsuits!

7. The Hobbit

Back in 2013, Bob and Harvey Weinstein took Warner Bros. and New Line to court for $75 million over profits related to “The Hobbit” sequels. It looks like they felt that they were owed money. Bob and Harvey ran Miramax back in the ‘90s when it was developing “The Hobbit;” however, they sold it to New Line in 1998 and only agreed to share royalties with the first film in the series. Rumor has it that when they found out that the first film brought in over a billion dollars, they wanted more of the action, hence the lawsuit.

The Weinsteins might be used to getting their ways in Hollywood; however, the arbitrator Bernard Fried wasn’t having any of it. He ruled in favor of Warner Bros. and New Line and decided that the Weinstein brothers weren’t owed any money from the sequels to “The Hobbit.” Source:

6. Lovelace

Days before “Lovelace” was set to open in theatres, Arrow Productions filed a lawsuit against The Weinstein Company and Millennium Films, which produced the film. Arrow Productions alleged that the Linda Lovelace biopic violated their copyright. According to them, The Weinstein Company and Millennium Films used “Deep Throat” and “Linda Lovelace” without their permission and they were seeking $10 million in damages. Arrow Productions also asked for an injunction to postpone the opening of the film, but the court ordered that it be released anyway.

The judge, Thomas Griesa, ultimately sided with The Weinstein Company and Millennium Films. He ruled that the movie was “entitled to a presumption of fair use” and concluded that the three scenes that were used in “Lovelace” from “Deep Throat” added a new, critical perspective on the life of the former porn star. Source:

5. The Hangover II

Tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill who designed Mike Tyson’s tribal face tattoo sued Warner Bros. for a copyright infringement back in 2011. He had a problem with the tattoo that Ed Helms’ character wakes up with in “The Hangover II.” According to him, it was too similar to the one he specifically designed for the famous boxer. He sought an injunction against the release of film. After months of wrangling, Warner Bros. settled with Whitmill in 2012 for an undisclosed amount.

That wasn’t the only lawsuit that “The Hangover II” faced. Michael Alan Rubin also sued the studio, alleging that the movie was based on a script that he had submitted to Warner Bros. about his marriage to a Japanese woman that went wrong during their honeymoon in Thailand and India. He claimed that his publicity rights were infringed and that he had been defamed in the film. Stunt double Scott McLean also sued the studio. He alleged that the film’s stunt coordinator had changed the timing of one of his stunts, which contributed to a major accident in which he was injured. Both plaintiffs dismissed their lawsuits voluntarily. Source:

4. Borat

When “Borat” came out, it faced a couple of different lawsuits. First some villagers of Glod, Romania, sued the producers of the film. They claimed that they weren’t made aware of movie’s nature and were portrayed as incestuous and ignorant. They sought $38 million in damages; however, the judge dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that the charges were too vague to stand up in court.

Shortly after the first lawsuit, two University of Carolina fraternity brothers who appeared in the film also filed suit. Justin Seay and Christopher Rotunda claimed that the film defamed them because they were captured on camera making racist and sexist comments while drunk. Since both of them had signed releases that prevented them from taking legal action against the film’s creators, they sought an injunction to remove the scenes from the film’s DVD. Like the first lawsuit, this one didn’t hold much weight and was also thrown out. Source:

3. Natural Born Killers

“Natural Born Killers” has allegedly inspired a number of copycat crimes. One of them involved Sarah Edmondson and her boyfriend Ben Darras who went on a crime spree. They killed one man and paralyzed a woman by the name of Patsy Byers in a botched robbery. When police arrested the couple, they revealed that they watched “Natural Born Killers” a number of times before they committed the crime.

Byers then filed a lawsuit against Oliver Stone and Time Warner, claiming that the robbery had been inspired by the movie. Lawyers for Stone and Time Warner argued that the film was protected under the first amendment, America’s free speech statute. The case was thrown out in 2001. “Today’s decision is an affirmation of the rule of law that we don’t hold moviemakers and songwriters and authors liable for the criminal misdeeds of people who don’t understand what they’re watching, hearing or reading,” a spokesperson for Time Warner said. Source:

2. Drive

A woman named Sarah Deming filed a lawsuit against the distributors of “Drive” and the theatre where she saw it back in 2011. She claimed that the trailer for the film misled the public by implying that it would be action-based like “The Fast and the Furious,” which it wasn’t. This wasn’t her only problem with the film – she alleged that it had anti-Semitic leanings. According to her, members of the Jewish faith were depicted unfavorably and in a stereotypical light. She sought statutory damages under the Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act and also tried to turn her case into a class action suit, which would have allowed other moviegoers to sue on similar grounds if they found the trailer misleading.

Unfortunately for Deming, the judge dismissed the case, ruling that the supposed anti-Semitic scenes did not mislead the viewer. Deming then filed an appeal; however, the appellate court rejected it. Source:

1. Captain Phillips

“Captain Phillips” is reportedly based on a true story; however, several crewmembers would definitely disagree. According to them, the real Captain Phillips isn’t a hero and, on the day that their ship was hijacked, they claim that he deliberately entered into pirate-infested waters in order to save time and money.

Many of the crewmembers are now suing the shipping company Maersk Line Limited and their employer Waterman Steamship Corporation because of this. They allege that the real Captain Phillips was well aware of the dangers that lurked off of the coast of Somalia, but he made the choice to sail into harm’s way anyway. “The crew had begged Captain Phillips not to go so close to the Somali coast,” Deborah Waters, the attorney who is representing the crewmembers, said. “He told them he wouldn’t let pirates scare him or force him to sail away from the coast.” Source:
Cate Willikers

Cate Willikers