Martin Poll, the veteranproducer of The Lion In Winterand Love And Death, andscreenwriter Larry Cohen have filed a $100m lawsuit against Fox Entertainmentclaiming its summer release The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (LXG)stole their idea.
Papers lodged at the USDistrict Court in Los Angeles on Sept 25 cite infringement of copyright andclaim that LXG is "substantially similar" to Cohen's 1992 screenplay Cast OfCharacters in terms of plot,dialogue, tone and characters.
According to the claim, Poll'sHollance Corp optioned Cohen's screenplay and approached Fox executives in1993.
Poll originally set up theproject with John Landis to direct and claimed he was in regular contact withFox's then head of production Tom Rothman, but after several re-writes the filmnever got made.
Cohen's version conjured upan imagined battle between Alan Quartermain and Sherlock Holmes and JamesMoriarty and Dorian Gray.
LXG features Quartermain and Gray, as well as a band ofother Victorian literary creations that the plaintiffs claim first appeared inCast Of Characters.
The plaintiffs are alsosuing for two other counts of breach of implied contract and breach ofconfidence.
Fox has always said it basedthe film on a graphic novel by Alan Moore. To date it has grossed more than$66m in the US.
Fox did not return calls atpress time but a spokesperson rubbished the claim in an earlier report, statingthat the company had not seen the complaint yet insisting that LXG was based on Moore's book.
Cohen's writing credits includePhone Booth and the in-productionthriller Cellular.