Filmmakers Allen and Albert Hughes are being sued over their hit 2010 action movie “The Book of Eli.”
“The Book of Eli,” which is credited to writer Gary Whitta, with a rewrite by Anthony Peckham, starred Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis and others.
Woodstock, Georgia based writer Bridgette Burgin claims that the movie was stolen from an unpublished two-part book she originally wrote titled “The Final Call.”
According to Burgin, she entered 10 chapters of her book into a nationally advertised writers contest conducted by Writers Digest and The Peter Taylor Prize in Tennessee.
Burgin claims that numerous “screeners” who read manuscripts and submissions were allowed to take them home and keep after the competition.
The lawsuit claims that two “screeners” who were judges of the contest supplied Burgin’s manuscript to Gary Whitta, who presented it to the Hughes Brothers as “The Book of Eli.”
“Gary Whitta was one of the first recipients to receive Burgin’s manuscripts, and presented it to Allen and Albert to produce and direct, and yet unnamed sources who paid Whitta to replicate the manuscript’s last remaining chapters in the form of a screenplay, which he named “The Book of Eli.”
According to the lawsuit, there are over 50 similarities between Burgin’s book and the final version of “The Book of Eli,” which has grossed over $150 million worldwide at the box office.
Burgin is suing for copyright infringement and seeks damages for injury to her professional reputation, diminution of her intellectual property.
She is seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent further distribution of the film and a trial by jury.
The Hughes Brothers have directed a number of popular films, including “Menace II Society,” “Dead Presidents,” American Pimp” and others.
Albert Hughes is currently directing the upcoming action film “Motor City.”