Jake Mandeville-Anthony, a U.K. based screenwriter, has filed suit against Disney and Pixar for alleged copyright infringement and breach of implied contract. Mandeville-Anthony claims that “Cars” and “Cars 2” are based on characters and a story he shopped around to several production companies in 1993.
The lawsuit was filed on March 14 in U.S. federal court, wherein Mandeville-Anthony states that he had “sent copies of his works to various production companies, including Disney” and also alleges that he met with Jim Morris in person to give him copies of his project. At the time, Morris was an executive at Lucasfilm, but later joined Pixar in 2005 and was named their General Manager and Executive Vice President of Production three years later.
Mandeville-Anthony alleges in his complaint that there are overwhelming similarities between the Cars movie franchise and his work, and is seeking an injunction to stop the release of “Cars 2” on June 24.
Additional information also reports that Mandeville-Anthony had recently sued Disney and Pixar in the U.K. as well, though the judgment for that case is sealed.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the only time Disney/Pixar has been sued for alleged copyright infringement. Social worker Lori Madrid had attempted to sue Pixar over “Monsters, Inc.” and also sought an injunction against the film’s release. The judge presiding over the case refused to issue an injunction and eventually dismissed the entire lawsuit. Pixar also settled out of court with another artist less than a year after Madrid’s attempt in order to avoid the mess of another trial.
It will be interesting to see how this case plays out, but it’s unfortunate timing, as “Cars 2” is set for release shortly. Director of the Cars franchise, John Lasseter, has loved cars since childhood and stated that an extensive road trip in 2000 inspired the story.