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Writer alleges Disney copied his idea for ‘Zootopia’

Mar 23,2017
LOS ANGELES - A screenwriter and producer sued Walt Disney Pictures on Tuesday, claiming the studio copied his ideas to create the Oscar-winning film “Zootopia.”

Gary L. Goldman, whose credits include work on film adaptations of “Total Recall,” “Minority Report” and “Big Trouble in Little China,” filed the copyright infringement lawsuit Tuesday in a federal court. His lawsuit states he pitched his “Zootopia” concept to Disney in 2000 and 2009 and there are similarities between his project and last year’s blockbuster.

Disney rejected the lawsuit’s claims 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 lawsuit states Goldman pitched Disney his “Zootopia” concept as a way to explore life in America through a civilized society of animals. Disney’s “Zootopia” explores prejudice through a bunny’s quest to become a respected police officer in a city where predator and prey co-exist side-by-side. The film won the best animated feature at last month’s Academy Awards. AP