Ballers was a fun surprise for HBO in 2015, featuring an always-swauve-looking Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson as a charismatic former football player trying to become the next superstar agent for NFL players. It was popular and successful enough to get picked up for a second season.
There’s just one problem.
Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton are suing the show, including producer Mark Wahlberg, Johnson, and series creator Mark Levinson, along with HBO, for copyright infringement. They are claiming that the network stole the idea for Ballers from a movie they wrote called Off Season.
Silas and Littleton filed suit in California, according to The Washington Post, alleging that they originally took their idea to a production company called Mayhem, which had previously worked with both Wahlberg (Invincible) and Johnson (The Game Plan). As negotiations continued, the plans fell apart when Silas and Littleton were asked to remove their names from the “created by” credits.
Now they claim that Ballers basically ripped off their script’s theme, basic plot line, setting, mood, and even characters. They even claim that specific scenes, like one player paying off a cop after bring caught with his pants down, was directly lifted from Off Season.
There has been no comment from Wahlberg, Johnson, or HBO at this time.