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A lawyer for Tom Cruise has said a $1bn (£613m) lawsuit alleging the most recent Mission: Impossible film used a screenwriter’s work without permission is “bizarre”.
Timothy Patrick McLanahan claims the 2011 film Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol was based on a script he wrote in 1998 called Head On, which he tried unsuccessfully to get made in Hollywood.
He pitched it initially to the William Morris Agency, but wrote in the lawsuit: “I was told … that they could not use the script as a movie,”
His lawsuit was filed in December but published this week by celebrity news website Radar Online.
When Mr McLanahan watched the film, “I immediately realised that the scripts for this movie had been illegally written and produced from Head On’s 1998 copyright,” he wrote in the lawsuit, which names Cruise among 13 defendants.
But Cruise’s lawyer Bert Fields dismissed the lawsuit.
“Tom Cruise has never stolen anything from anyone,” he said. “This bizarre lawsuit against 13 people … will be quickly dismissed by the court.”
In his legal filing, Mr McLanahan specified why he is seeking $1bn.
He noted that the film made over $690m (£423m) at the box office, some $145m (£89m) in DVD and Blu-ray sales, and millions of dollars in film rentals.
“Because the Ghost Protocol film generated close to $1bn, I am asking for this amount in damages,” he wrote in the lawsuit, filed in California on December 17.