Plaintiff claims 2009 horror movie was lifted from a deceased relative’s novel
The 2009 supernatural horror film "The Unborn" isn't done creating scares — at least for Rogue Pictures and Relativity Media.
Rogue, which released the movie, and its parent company Relativity have been hit with a $1 million lawsuit by a man who claims that the plot for the film was stolen from a deceased relative's novel.
Daniel Segal filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, alleging that "The Unborn" used "a substantial amount of ideas" contained in the 1990 novel "Transfers," which Segal claims ownership to following the 2003 death of his relative.
According to Segal's suit, he submitted "Transfers" to Relativity partner Pat Dollard in 2005, who allegedly blew Segal off after the book was submitted.
Segal says that, when he saw "The Unborn" in a theater, he was struck by the number of similarities between the film and "Transfers."
Segal further alleges that "Unborn" director David Goyer would have had access to "Transfers," as he was working on Relativity's "Ghost Rider" at the time that the novel was submitted to Relativity.
Read the full lawsuit here.
Segal's suit says that "Transfers" "revolves around a young woman named Louisa who is haunted by the spirit of her dead twin sister." Louisa suffers from a profound skin and facial abnormality, and after being treated by hypnosis, Louisa "begins to believe that events in a past life may be the cause of her facial abnormality."
According to the suit, the novel and the movie are similar in that "[a] twin dies near birth and comes back, in one form or another, to haunt the living twin." Segal further asserts that the film and novel share numerous sub-themes — namely, "the principal character searches for meaning; the role of religion; reincarnation; past trauma carry forward and the female protagonist is plagued with distressing events and symptoms."
Segal also claims similarities in character, sequence of events, mood and pacing.
Alleging breach of implied in fact contract, Segal is seeking damages and profits "in excess of $1,000,000 according to proof," plus credit and compensation as a story creator and co-producer of the film, attorney fees, suit costs and interests.
According to Box Office Mojo, "The Unborn" — which starred Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet and Odette Annable (credited as Odette Yustman in the film) took in a worldwide gross of $76,514,050, on a production budget of $16 million.
Relativity Media has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.
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