Quentin Tarantino faces a lawsuit after claims that his film Django Unchained breaches the copyright of an original screenplay called ‘Freedom’ by scriptwriters Oscar Colvin Jr and Torrance J Colvin.
The two scriptwriters have called out Tarantino as “an immediate thief” for copying their screenplay ‘Freedom’ - a "uniquely original concept" - to form 2012 hit Django Unchained. To support their claims, the lawsuit quotes Tarantino himself when he said “I steal from every single movie ever made” in an interview with Empire magazine in 1994.
The scriptwriters claim they submitted ‘Freedom’ to the William Morris Agency, and that Tarantino’s name was mentioned when discussing a potential director and producer of the screenplay. The suit goes on to claim Django bears "far more similarities" to ‘Freedom’ than it does to Sergio Corbucci’s ‘Django’, which Tarantino claims is the inspiration for his film.
The suit claims that the two writers "provided the heart, bones and muscles to develop the unique idea that eventually would be transformed into ‘Django Unchained.'"
They go on to say: "Defendant Tarantino took the plot lines and main story of ‘Freedom’ and Tarantino-ized them."
The suit has been filed in a federal court in Washington D.C., and asserts: "Before Django Freeman, there was an escaped slave named Jackson Freeman who desired to purchase his family’s freedom from a malevolent plantation owner. Before Dr Schultz, there was Samson, another white man, who would assist Mr Freeman in his efforts to rescue his loved one(s) from slavery."
Tarantino holds an Oscar for Django Unchained for the best original screenplay in the 2013 Acadamey Awards.
The lawsuit also names The Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures as defendants.
For alleged copyright infringement, the suit seeks compensatory damages "In an amount in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars to be proven at trial."