Mission: Impossible lawsuit dropped

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 7 July 2014
Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

A judge has dismissed a copyright infringement case against Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures over the screenplay for 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol'

A lawsuit against Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures has been dropped.

The actor and the studio were the subject of legal action from writer Timothy Patrick McLanahan, who claimed he came up with the 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol' screenplay idea back in 1998 but the judge presiding over the dispute has dropped the case.

According to documents obtained by RadarOnline.com, the court had issued an order to show cause as to why the case shouldn't be dropped for lack of prosecution, but McLanahan failed to do so in a timely fashion.

The documents read: "IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the above-entitled case is dismissed, without prejudice, for lack of prosecution and for failure to comply with the orders of the Court."

The writer - who was seeking $1 billion in damages - had alleged his script for a project called 'Head On' was rejected by William Morris Agency, but they "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 $1 billion sought in damages was to cover 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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