Tom Cruise sued over Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol screenplay

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 4 February 2014
Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures are reportedly being sued by screenwriter Timothy Patrick McLanahan over the 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol' screenplay

Tom Cruise is being sued over the 'Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol' screenplay.

The actor and Paramount Pictures have reportedly been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit for $1 billion by writer Timothy Patrick McLanahan, who claims he came up with the original idea for the blockbuster back in 1998.

According to, the official court documents filed on 20 December 2013, read: "In 1998, I had written a screenplay called 'Head On'. After submitting it to the US Copyright Office, 'Head On' received a copyright certificate protecting its material and author from unauthorised use."

The screenwriter claims his original script by rejected by William Morris Agency, but they allegedly "shopped the script around the world ... including [to] Tom Cruise's Rick Nicita, top agent with Creative Artist Agency."

When the fourth instalment in the iconic 'Mission Impossible' action franchise about spy Ethan Hunt was released in 2011, McLanahan says the plot similarities were immediately obvious.

He wrote: "I immediately recognised that the scripts for this movie had been illegally written and produced from Head On's 1998 copyright."

The hefty sum of $1 billion McLanahan is requesting in damages allegedly covers the sum of 'Ghost Protocol's box office sales ($694,710,000), DVD sales ($144.5 million), movie rentals, subscription sales and budget ($145 million).

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

  • 3 stars
  • 2011
  • US
  • 2h 13min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Brad Bird
  • Written by: André Nemec, Josh Appelbaum
  • Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Paula Patton
  • UK release: 26 December 2011

Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team (Renner, Patton, Pegg) are disowned after an explosion at the Kremlin, and have to race to prevent nuclear war. Director Bird marries audacious action sequences with subtle humour. The main characters lack complexity and the villain disappoints, but otherwise a solid crowd-pleaser.

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