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John Connor [Celluloid 10.27.15] scifi horror

Last week it was announced that John Carpenter (via CanalPlus) had won a French plagiarism lawsuit against Luc Besson and his company Europa Corp. for their Lockout movie infringing on Carpenter's own Escape from New York. Surprisingly, he won. I say surprisingly because, while elements of the story are clearly homages to EFNY, the suit would never have been won in a US court.

It's not like Carpenter got rich off the deal. The suit brought in about 80,000 euros - 20,000 of which went to the filmmaker.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood reporter, Carpenter talked about the lawsuit.

Carpenter said:

CanalPlus is the company that, with me, owns Escape From New York. They came to me and said, "Luc Besson ripped you off on Lockout." Or Lockdown, whatever the hell that was. And they sent me the movie, and yes, he did. It’s the same story. (Laughs) I mean, you can’t do that, can you? You have to change a couple things. He’s after the president’s daughter? Come on. So I took him to French court.

The great thing is, I didn’t have to do anything, really. That's the kind of the job I’ve always wanted — where you don’t have to show up, and something happens. And we won! But any great dreams of retiring wealthy were shattered because they didn’t give us as much money as CanalPlus wanted. They wanted to get Luc Besson. They didn’t like it. [CanalPlus sought €3 million in the lawsuit.]

[CanalPlus also] wanted to also go after the video game Metal Gear Solid, which is kind of a rip-off of Escape From New York, too, but I told them not to do that. I know the director of those games, and he’s a nice guy, or at least he’s nice to me.

When asked whether he'd heard from Besson:

Oh, hell no! I don’t hear from anybody. You’re not listening to me. No one tells me anything.

A remake of Escape from New York is currently in development, but it still in the script phase.

Recommended Release: Escape from NY

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Wumpus (6 years ago) Reply

You'd think he would be OK with plagiarizing Escape from NY after making Escape from LA.


DirtyRotter (6 years ago) Reply

So rescuing the presidents daughter is a copyrightable plot point! this is really disappointing on John Carpenters part, at least he hasn't tried to go after Metal Gear


nemo (6 years ago) Reply

Spartan is about rescuing the presidents daughter. Watch out David Mamet!

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