In a lawsuit filed in the New Jersey Superior Court in February, Jarrett Alexander alleges that he wrote a screenplay called “Creed: Rocky Legacy,” which he attempted to pitch to producers — and Stallone in particular.
“The ideas, theme and plot contained in the Creed Concept were specific, novel, and unique and constitute a protectable property interest,” according to legal documents obtained by TheWrap, which cite a “misappropriation of idea.”
“Alexander transmitted the Creed Concept to Defendants with the understanding, derived from long-standing industry custom, that he would be compensated if the Creed Concept was used,” the lawsuit continues.
However, the suit claims the filmmakers used his concept in “writing, developing, producing, selling, and distributing their ‘Creed’ movie without the express or implied, permission or authorization of Alexander.
In response, MGM, Warner Bros. and New Line said in a statement: “The claims in this lawsuit are baseless and an ill-advised attempt to profit from the work of others. Creed is based on characters from the ‘Rocky’ films that are indisputably protected by our copyright.
“The incredibly talented director, writers and producers who revitalized these beloved characters and created the story for ‘Creed’ deserve full credit for their originality and hard work.
“We will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit and hold Mr. Alexander accountable for filing it,” the studios’ statement concluded.
Alexander alleges that the concept of “legacy” is crucial to his script and was used prominently in marketing materials for Coogler’s “Creed,” and that the defendants must have seen his copyrighted materials and ideas because he submitted links to his website to them via Twitter.
Furthermore, Alexander alleges that Stallone has teased a sequel to “Creed,” which would pit Michael B. Jordan‘s character against a Russian fighter, a prominent plot point from Alexander’s screenplay.
He is demanding a jury trial and suing for compensatory damages, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees and costs.