A writer named Ben Kaplan is suing Gary Oldman and NBCUniversal. He claims that material from his working scripts about Winston Churchill ended up in 'Darkest Hour' without credit or compensation.
Kaplan filed a complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday alleging trademark infringement, unlawful business practices, breach of implied contract, interference with contractual relations, and financial interference by NBCUniversal and its subsidiaries. These include Focus Features and Working Title; Gary Oldman; his manager Douglas Urbanski; and his agent Jim Osborne.
You can see the copy of the lawsuit via Variety here.
"[Ben Kaplan] spent years developing, writing and refining Churchill," reads the complaint, seeking a jury trial.
"Several versions of the script for 'Churchill' were distributed to members of film industry in Los Angeles County, California," it adds. "It was understood by members of the film industry that Mr. Kaplan had created a script for a film about Winston Churchill and was planning on turning that script into a feature film."
Kaplan alleges in the complaint that he made three of his working scripts for a film (to be titled 'Churchill') available to Oldman.
The actor had agreed to play the title role in exchange for $6 million.
However, before an official contract could be signed off, Kaplan alleges, Oldman pulled out of the deal for 'Churchill'.
He subsequently signed on for 'Darkest Hour', with his manager Urbanski receiving a producer credit.
Oldman went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in 'Darkest Hour'.
Kaplan affirms that his film was cancelled because of Oldman's departure.
Furthermore, he claims there are numerous similarities between his work and the scenes, dialogue and ending of 'Darkest Hour'.
The complaint seeks an injunction on the film and damages, including all the money the defendants made from the film, also.
'Darkest Hour' grossed $150 million in the box office globally.
Representatives for Oldman, NBCUniversal or Focus Features have declined to comment at this time.