Quentin Tarantino may have just wrapped press on his lated film The Hateful Eight, but the acclaimed filmmaker is now embroiled in a lawsuit over his 2012 movie Django Unchained.
Tarantino, The Weinstein Company, and Columbia Pictures were served with a copyright lawsuit alleging Django infringes on another screenplay, Freedom. Plaintiffs Oscar Colvin Jr. and Torrance J. Colvin assert they wrote Freedom, and Tarantino borrowed from it to create the film, according to court documents acquired by EW.
“Before Django Freeman, there was an escaped slave named Jackson Freeman who desired to purchase his family’s freedom from a malevolent plantation owner,” the lawsuit claims, referencing Tarantino’s protagonist and the hero of Freedom. “Before Dr. Schultz, there was Samson, another white man, who would assist Mr. Freeman in his efforts to rescue his loved one(s) from slavery.”
The suit, which was filed in Washington D.C. on Dec. 24, also claims Tarantino is an “admitted thief,” and quotes a statement he once told Empire magazine: “I steal from every single movie ever made.” The file reads, “There are a plethora of similarities between Freedom and Django Unchained. Defendants would call them coincidences, however, the intentional use of our work is neither an accident nor coincidence. It is not a coincidence that both stories are about an escaped or emancipated slave who desires to purchase/rescue his loved ones from slavery. It is not a coincidence that they both follow a similar path, with many of the scenes lining up as if traced using vellum paper.”
The Colvins are asking for “no less than hundreds of millions of dollars” in compensatory damages. Django Unchained earned more than $425 million at the worldwild box office.
Sony Pictures declined to comment. Representatives for Tarantino did not immediately return EW’s requests for comment.