If you saw the Guy Pearce sci-fi actioner Lockout and thought it was strangely reminiscent of Escape From New York, you weren't alone.
In fact, original director John Carpenter saw it and thought the same. The veteran director took a plagiarism suit against Luc Besson's production shingle, Europacorp, for Lockout.
The 2012 film, which was directed by Irishmen Stephen St. Leger and James Mather, saw Guy Pearce as a man wrongly convicted and given a chance at freedom if he can rescue the President's daughter from an orbiting jail. It's basically an amalgamation of Escape From New York, Escape From L.A. and a slightly different setting.
As it turns out, the Regional Court of Paris agreed with Carpenter's suit, citing the fact that "the difference in the location of the action and the more modern character featured in ‘Lock-Out’ was not enough to differentiate the two films. The disputed film seemed to be in the same vein as ‘New York 1997’, and this had indeed been picked up in a number of press articles."
Despite this, however, there wasn't a huge amount of money owed to Carpenter. Europacorp was ordered to pay the rights holders to Escape From New York a paltry €50,000 whilst John Carpenter and co-writer Nick Castle picked up a measly €20,000 and €10,000 respectively. We're guessing it wasn't about the money for Carpenter, more that people acknowledge Escape From New York is one of Kurt Russell's films and stands alone in its greatness.
Via IRIS Merlin