Toho, the Japanese production company that created “Godzilla,” has filed a lawsuit against Voltage Pictures that alleges the company used copyrighted images of the famous movie monster to sell their new film, “Colossal” starring Anne Hathaway.
The lawsuit was filed in California federal court Tuesday and states “Toho Co. Ltd. … brings this lawsuit because defendants are brazenly producing, advertising, and selling an unauthorized Godzilla film of their own.” Toho is suing Voltage for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, trademark dilution, violating the Lanham Act, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
According to the legal documents obtained by TheWrap, Voltage circulated an email to potential investors at the Cannes film festival describing the plot of the film with the phrase “Tokyo is under attack by Godzilla and a giant robot.” One of the images accompanying the description was taken directly from the 2014 “Godzilla” reboot.
The suit also states that notes from “Colossal” director Nacho Vigalondo included in the email featured trademarked Godzilla images. The documents go on to cite a 2014 interview included with the notes in which Vigalondo said, “
“Toho is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that Defendants have knowingly used the Godzilla Character to attract interest and attention in their Colossal project so that it would stand out in a crowded field of competitors on the film sales circuit,” the complaint states.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.