Disney’s “Zootopia” might have to gear up for a legal mauling.
The Academy Award-winning Best Animated Film has been presented with a lawsuit claiming many elements of the movie were stolen. Hollywood screenwriter and producer Gary Goldman claims he twice pitched the idea for “Zootopia”, in court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
The suit was presented by Goldman’s Esplanade Production Inc. “The Disney ‘Zootopia’ copies substantial elements of that cartoon world, calls it ‘Zootopia,’ and uses substantially similar setting, characters, dialogue, mood, pace, artwork, and although differing superficially, plot points and story structures, to express substantially similar themes,” the suit claims.
Goldman and his team allege copyright infringement, breach of implied-in-fact contact, breach of confidence and unfair competition. The screenwriter further claims he spent “substantial resources to create and develop” the animated movie.
According to E! News, a Disney spokesperson denied the allegations in a statement. “Mr. Goldman’s lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations. It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court,” the statement read.
Goldman has asked for a trial by jury in his suit.