“Yo Adrian, I did it,” Sylvester Stallone is crying in defense of claims that he isn’t responsible for conceiving the concept of Rocky spinoff Creed on his own.
A New Jersey man is suing Creed filmmakers, including writer-director Ryan Coogler and actor-producer Sylvester Stallone, alleging they, “[took] his idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar motion picture,” but didn’t compensate him, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Jarrett Alexander claims he registered a screenplay about Apollo Creed’s orphaned son, titled Creed: Rocky Legacy with the Writers Guild of America and the U.S. Copywright Office in 2010 before circulating the script around Hollywood.
“This is not a copyright case,” Alexander’s attorney Kathleen Barnett Einhorn said in a statement. “Mr. Alexander created the concept for Creed—including a copyrighted screenplay and pitch reel—years before the defendants’ announcement that they were developing Creed. The defendants misappropriated Mr. Alexander’s idea in developing their movie.”
MGM, Warner Bros. and New Line Cinemas have denied the allegations.
“The claims in this lawsuit are baseless and an ill-advised attempt to profit from the work of others,” the studios said in a statement. “Creed is based on characters from the Rocky films that are indisputably protected by our copyright. The incredibly talented director, writers and producers who revitalized these beloved characters and created the story for Creed deserve full credit for their originality and hard work. We will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit and hold Mr. Alexander accountable for filing it.”