Universal, MGM Settle Lawsuit Over Alleged ‘James Bond’ Copyright Infringement

Charges that Aaron Berg’s script “Section 6” borrowed heavily from Ian Fleming’s spy series have been dismissed


Universal Pictures and MGM have settled out of court a dispute over intellectual property rights surrounding the “James Bond” series, documents obtained by TheWrap confirm.

“The parties have resolved the matter to their satisfaction,” a joint statement from the studios’ lawyers said, with settlement terms unspecified.

In April, MGM and producers Danjaq claimed a script being developed by Universal borrowed heavily from Ian Fleming‘s beloved “Bond” franchise.

“Section 6,” the script in question, is a historical spy thriller written by Aaron Berg. The story chronicles the formation of British intelligence agency MI6 around the time of World War I — before any of the Bond movies took place. It also examines its first director, George Mansfield Cummings, the inspiration for M in the “James Bond” series.

At the time of filing, MGM lawyer Robert Schwartz told TheWrap his clients sent Universal a 20-page dossier in Fall 2014 detailing their concerns, and Universal assured them any film — should it see production — would be very different from Berg’s screenplay. Universal has since hired “Attack the Block” filmmaker Joe Cornish to direct the movie and “Unbroken” star Jack O’Connell to play the male lead.

The current Bond film, titled “Spectre” starring Daniel Craig, is currently shooting. The production was recently compromised when the film’s own script was leaked in the hack of Sony Pictures.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.