Sean Connery's The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen is in legal trouble - a Hollywood producer and screenwriter are suing 20TH CENTURY FOX film studio for stealing their idea to make the movie.

The copyright infringement suit seeks $100 million (GBP62 million) in damages - significantly more than the film has grossed so far.

The movie features Connery leading a group of Victorian literary characters, including DR JEKYLL/MR HYDE, TOM SAWYER and DRACULA vampiress MINA HARKER, in a fight against a mysterious madman.

Fox has called the lawsuit "absurd nonsense", citing artist Alan Moore's cult graphic novel of the same name as the film's genesis.

But PHONE BOOTH screenwriter Larry Cohen and producer Martin Poll insist the movie was stolen from their unmade script CAST OF CHARACTERS, which they submitted to Fox executives between 1993 and 1996.

They also allege Fox hired Moore to write a graphic novel based on their ideas, as a "smokescreen" for the stolen movie script.

The suit backs up its claim saying Fox hired screenwriters to adapt Moore's comic in 1998, as reported in DAILY VARIETY - even though the novel was not completed until 1999.

Plaintiff's lawyer BIJAN AMINI says, "The similarities between the two products are so striking that there's no question that one has been taken from the other."

26/09/2003 17:17