Like some kind of twist in a B-movie horror adventure, Lionsgate Films, Joss Whedon, and Drew Goddard are being sued for $10 million over allegations that they stole the idea for one of their past films. The Cabin in the Woods was, and still is, hailed for its originality and creative take on the horror genre, but if a recent lawsuit brought to life by author Peter Gallagher turns out to be true, it may not be that original after all.
In a complaint filed by Gallagher, the author alleges that Whedon and Cabin in the Woods co-writer Drew Goddard knowingly took the idea for the film from his 2006 novel The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines. Gallagher alleges in his complaint that the 2012 film copies his novel’s theme, story, characters, setting, mood, pace, sequence of events, and he also lists 25 similar scenes between the two works.
Like the Book, Cabin in the Woods tells the story of five friends (three guys and two girls) between the ages of 17 and 22 who take a take a trip to a remote cabin in the woods. The cabin’s previous inhabitants were murdered by the father of the family, who returns to terrorize the group of friends. In the end, it is revealed that the friends are being filmed and manipulated by persons behind the scenes, thus becoming inadvertent characters in a real-life horror show for the enjoyment of others.
Specifically, Gallagher points to several parts of Cabin in the Woods which allegedly mirror those that are found within his own book. This includes things like the composition of the main group (both include five college friends with two couples and one extra guy), the fact that both parties are lead to a house that starts with a “b” – Bucker House in Cabin in the Woods, Brinkly House in The Little White Trip – and many other similarities such as both female lead characters being blonde and wanting to steal an object they find in a storage area.
According to Gallagher, both Whedon and Goddard willingly and knowingly infringed on his copyright and copied his work without credit. His complaint states the he is entitled to damages including any profits generated from Cabin in the Woods, as well as the usual damages and attorney’s fees and costs. All told, it racks up to $10 million.
The lawsuit comes as Whedon is in the midst of building excitement for his upcoming Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron, which may or not be based off of a series of books owned by Marvel Comics.Source: Hollywood Reporter