Disney Accused Of Plundering 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' In Copyright Lawsuit

Disney Accused Of Plundering 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' In Copyright Lawsuit

They say they submitted the script while working with Disney on a potential Red Hood film.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl debuted in theaters to box office success in 2003, launching a franchise whose most recent installment, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, premiered earlier this year.

"Pirates in film, while handsome or good-looking, have not been depicted as having a sense of humor, until "Captain Jack Sparrow" in the Pirates franchise", writes attorney Elizabeth M. Thomas in the complaint filed Tuesday in Colorado federal court.

In a statement to Denver7, Disney said the lawsuit is without merit. In fact, they say Disney got them into the Writers Guild as work progressed on the never-made Red Hood.

"Lee Alfred, II and Ezequiel Martinez, Jr. nearly realized that dream, but they this dream quickly turned into a nightmare, when their original work, 'The Screenplay, ' was intentionally copied and commercially exploited by Defendant's, creating a billion-dollar franchise, with no credit or compensation to Alfred or Martinez", the document for the two scribes and producer Laiter adds (read it here).

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"They later retitled it "Pirates of the Caribbean" when Alfred and Martinez realized the Disneyland ride by that name had "no story" behind it".

But when Alfred and Martinez met with the Disney employees to discuss "Red Hood", they saw their screenplay of "Pirates of the Caribbean" on a coffee table.

The suit contends that Laiter presented the screenplay to Disney executive Brigham Taylor in August 2000. But he did not mention that Disney was going forward with the "Pirates of the Caribbean" project, the lawsuit says. This is to prevent the "unintentional" copying of any original screenplay, however, in this instance the complainants said Walt Disney returned their screenplay two years later. The movie, like their screenplay, including a ghost-figure Davy Jones.

The writers say the film and the subsequent sequels blatantly copy themes, settings, plot, characters and dialogue from their script.

"Defendants never obtained a license from plaintiffs to prepare reproductions of plaintiffs' original works of authorship", the lawsuit said, per The Denver Post.