There's nothing like media lawsuits filed a long time after the fact. Whether the claims are true or not, these people must realize how much the passage of time hurts their case, or at least makes things sound fishy. Nevertheless, The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that a local businessman, writer, and owner of a hip-hop recording business, James Lee White, has filed a law suit against Spike Lee. He claims that the famous director's 2004 film, Sucker Free City, is based on his own 2002 script, Mixed Up. White says that Lee created the film with screenwriter Alex Tse within a few months of the new writer submitting his own script to Lee's production company, 40 Acres and a Mule, in 2002, and that the released version has 85 similarities to White's work.

The Louisville businessman claims that he didn't realize that Sucker Free City had, well, made him a sucker (so to speak), until he rented the Showtime pilot last year. The lawsuit alleges that the films are similar in "the arrangement of the scenes, the expression of the scenes, substantially similar core plot foundation, dialog, settings, characters, characters' personalities, and a substantial similar feel, look, and pace."

White says: "I'm a black man, and Spike Lee of 40 Acres and a Mule -- you are a black man. And you stole from a black man and you know it. What do you call that? A hypocrite." That being said, White isn't looking for a big cash cow. He just wants compensation for his script, up to Writers Guild standards, and the opportunity to write more for both Showtime and 40 Acres. I get the Showtime bit, but if Lee stole from him, and is a hypocrite, why would this guy want to work with him in the future? That sort of takes the wind out of his own sails.

[via Film Stew]
categories Cinematical