Lawsuit Says "The Island" is a Clone

Sci-fi geeks have been telling about it for weeks, but the similarities between Michael Bay's "The Island" and Robert Fiveson's "Parts: The Clonus Horror" are about to be aired in a federal court ... barring a quick settlement, of course.

The producers of the 1979 sci-fi indie flick are suing DreamWorks and WB, stating that "The Island" is more than just a little similar to their low-budget film. ""Clonus," produced by Myrl A. Schreibman and Robert S. Fiveson, who also helmed, tells the story of a secret colony of clones who are told they will one day go to a utopian place called "America." They're actually being raised in case their human counterparts need spare organs. One of the clones escapes into Southern California and is chased as he tries to expose the facility.

In "The Island," helmed by Michael Bay, the clones are similarly raised as a source of spare parts for humans and two clones escape into the real world, a futuristic Los Angeles, and try to shut down the cloning facility."

Variety also indicates that Warner Bros. is staying mum of the lawsuit, while a DreamWorks rep offered this explanation: "'The Island' was independently created and does not infringe anyone's copyrights."

But the "Clonus" producers reportedly have about 90 specific instances in which they feel the similarities between the films are much more than coincidental. Many might look to "The Island'"s original screenwriter, one Caspian Tredwell-Owen, or the pair of secondary writers, Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci, for a few answers.

Produced for approximately $120 million, "The Island" has grossed only $55 million worldwide so far.

Comments

Aoiboy

Aoi Boy

After being a headline for its poor box-office performance, now this... I like the comment of the Dreamworks rep. He certainly earns his paycheck at the end of the month ^_^.

Aug 10 - 02:41 AM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

The first rule for a publicity person is to deny everything, even if it's true.

Aug 10 - 02:56 PM

Aoiboy

Aoi Boy

I thought that the first rule of a rep in these cases was not be available for comments...

Aug 10 - 11:46 PM

Prosper761

Brian Bara

No one sued Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shussett for stealing the plot of the 1950's sci-fi schlocker "It; The Thing from Outer Space," when "Alien" came out. I caught this little gem on AMC the other night -- in "It" the alien boards the ship while they have landed to make repairs; it moves about the ship through the air-ducts, methodically stalking the crew and the astronauts even kill it by donning space suits and opening up the air locks. It seems that even in the late 70's, there were no new ideas and writers were stealing other's material all the time. Granted, "Alien" is a great film, miles away in tone and technology from "It," but the basic plot is the same. Perhaps if "The Island" had actually been a good movie, no one would have noticed it ripped off "Parts: The Clonus Horror," which isn't exactly a 4 star movie, itself.

Aug 10 - 08:20 AM

MuzunguMbaya

Jason Dunn

Which also raises the question: why sue over something that's going to lose money? You can't get blood from a turnip.

Aug 10 - 08:32 AM

doja

Tyler Sperdoj

why sue? good question...i'd rather they just give michael bay 10 lashings

Aug 10 - 04:29 PM

alsanali

Alsan Ali

You know, this just might be the kind of thing that'll raise public interest in this movie. Controversy sells. Just look at Pashion of the Christ or Farenheit 9/11.

Aug 10 - 10:39 AM

new12play

Nathan Wells

Too little, too late for The Island, even if there could be some positive spin to this controversy.

Aug 10 - 11:01 AM

new12play

Nathan Wells

Too little, too late for The Island, even if there could be some positive spin to this controversy.

Aug 10 - 11:01 AM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

The first rule for a publicity person is to deny everything, even if it's true.

Aug 10 - 02:56 PM

Aoiboy

Aoi Boy

I thought that the first rule of a rep in these cases was not be available for comments...

Aug 10 - 11:46 PM

doja

Tyler Sperdoj

why sue? good question...i'd rather they just give michael bay 10 lashings

Aug 10 - 04:29 PM

rookeealding

Rookee Alding

[b]mst3k? anyone.[/b]
I swear I've seen that movie. is it the one on Mystery scince theator 3000? as soon as i saw the traler for "the island" I went I saw that on mst3k.

Aug 10 - 05:17 PM

Ophiuchus

KJ T

Yes, it is. And if you visit a website called agonybooth.com you'll actually find one of the makers of Clonus is currently on the forums talking about how they made the film. There's also a long recap of Clonus there, so if anyone's interested to know what it was like but can't find it, they can go there.

Aug 10 - 10:40 PM

MontyCircus

First Last

[b]And then?[/b]
So who do the Logan's Run people sue? Both of these parties?

The first 12 times I saw the trailer I thought it was Logan's Run, just with an updated title...

Aug 10 - 09:50 PM

jeremyd4

jeremy d

[b]The Island will be fine once it hits dvd.[/b]
I am really surprised at how poorly The Island has performed so far because so many people seem to know about it and talk about going to see it; but most I've talked to haven't actually taken the next step and gone.
Can't speak for the rest of the world, but in Australia "The Rock" is quite often people's favourite movie and that didn't fair so well on its cinematic release but once it hit video, it was the most hired movie of the year. The dvd sold really well too. "Bad Boys", "Amageddon" also seem to fair quite well as popular dvds and all have a certain rewatchable appeal, as tacky as they can be. The Island is really quite good (not fantastic) so I'm thinking it'll be fine in the end once it hits dvd and people get off their butts to go see it.

I'd see it again just for Scarlett.

Aug 10 - 09:56 PM

Flim Springfield

Robb P

[b]Definitely See It For Scarlett[/b]
Holy crap she's hot!

Aug 10 - 10:57 PM

Ophiuchus

KJ T

Yes, it is. And if you visit a website called agonybooth.com you'll actually find one of the makers of Clonus is currently on the forums talking about how they made the film. There's also a long recap of Clonus there, so if anyone's interested to know what it was like but can't find it, they can go there.

Aug 10 - 10:40 PM

Flim Springfield

Robb P

[b]Definitely See It For Scarlett[/b]
Holy crap she's hot!

Aug 10 - 10:57 PM

Aoiboy

Aoi Boy

I thought that the first rule of a rep in these cases was not be available for comments...

Aug 10 - 11:46 PM

Ophiuchus

KJ T

Hmmm. Guess that guy didn't read the Representatives' Handbook. Talk about lazy!

Aug 11 - 06:19 AM

Gareth

Gareth von Kallenbach

[b]Lawsuit.[/b]
It is funny, we broke the news weeks before the film opened and not a soul wanted to carry the story. Fiveson and I were in constant communication. Now the lawsuit is filed everyone acts like it is new. This was news weeks ago, but many of my peers did not want to report it as according to a few I spoke with, they did not want to offend Dreamworks.
Now that The Island did not do as well as hoped, they change face and it is open season. I thought we were supposed to report the news not play P.R.

Here is the post on my site, which is the e-mail to me from Fiveson, note the date. It was this date that I sent it to many sites, including this board, and they still would not report on it.

6/25/05 at 09:32 AM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just got this in, he does make a very valid point, the plot is exactly the same of the new Island Film. I am sending as it was sent to me, minus the contact info.

The Emperor Is F$##@g Naked!!! This is NOT Spam. It's a rallying cry! Ever get
tired of the big guys trampling on the little guys? Ever want to poke the eye out of
some smarmy bastard with billions and an army of lawyers who thinks they make the
rules? This is your chance! On July 22nd, DreamWorks is releasing the film "The
Island," directed by Michael ("Armageddon") Bay and starring Ewan McGregor and
Scarlett Johansson. Anyone who has seen the trailer or a sneak preview and has also
seen the film "Clonus" (also known as "Parts: The Clonus Horror") -- which appeared
on CBS twice, the SciFi Channel, and even Mystery Science Theater 2000 -- knows that
the plots are waaaay too similar to be mere coincidence. "Clonus" tells the story
of Richard, a resident of a contained utopian facility. Like all of the inhabitants
of this carefully controlled environment, Richard hopes to be chosen to go to
"America," where everyone is happy. But Richard soon discovers that everything about
his existence is a lie. He and all his friends are actually clones whose only
purpose is to provide "spare parts" for their original human counterparts. Realizing
it is only a matter of time before he is "harvested," he and a beautiful fellow
resident named Lena plot an escape to the outside world they've never known.
Relentlessly pursued by the forces of the sinister institute that once housed him,
Richard engages in a race for his life to literally meet his makers. Compare that
with the summary for "The Island" on imdb.com! It seems the main difference is the
budget: "The Island" exceeded $100 million! That is 400 times the final budget of
Clonus!! Of course, the big-budget film will have lots of chases and a happy ending
tacked on -- you don't gamble that much money on a downer -- but that doesn't
disguise its true origins. And many many others have made note of this; at this
writing, if you Google "Clonus" and "The Island" together, you get around 10,800
hits, most commenting on the extraordinary similarity! imdb.com is considered the
definitive source for information about films; on the imbd.com page for "The
Island," if you click "Movie Connections" over to the left, it even says "Remake of
'Clonus' (1979)," and if you click on "Movie Connections" for "Clonus" it says
"Remade as 'The Island' (2005)." Yet, amazingly, the original makers of "Clonus"
(Director Robert S.Fiveson, Producer Myrl A. Schreibman and screenwriters Bob
Sullivan and Ron Smith) have been completely SHUT OUT, receiving no credit, no
compensation, no anything including not being asked if it could be remade -- If
one could trace the history of Clonus one would find that at the time it was made,
many in the industry, including possibly some of the principles of DreamWorks, knew
and saw the film. How do you think the Clonus filmmakers feel right now? Adding
lots of chases and a happy ending doesn't make the idea original! How can you help?
How can you stick a fistful of money up the arrogant noses of overpaid ?talent? and
lawyers? simple - unlock real the power of the Internet (no not porno!). Pass this
email on to as many people as you know who love movies and hate rich arrogant rip
off artists who hide behind walls of money! If you don?t nothing bad will happen ?
but if you do something GOOD might happen! Send this e-mail to everyone you know -
or at least everyone you consider to be a fellow fan of films and fairness -
especially anyone from DreamWorks, any entertainment attorneys, and any reviewers
who might be reviewing "The Island" when it comes out on July 22nd, so they can give
the originators of this idea the credit they deserve! Do it for films! Do it for
fairness! Do it because it will feel really good to yell ? Hey the Emperor is f#$@#$
Naked ? and then shove their money right up their nose!!!

Aug 11 - 02:04 PM

jeanpaul

solomon sassoon

[b]Don't like Scarlett[/b]
I can't stand Scarlett Johanson--- Love Micheal Bay's movies, though-- but then, I really don't like that actress--- I really don't! AHHH....

Aug 11 - 05:59 PM

Ophiuchus

KJ T

actually, I don't think Fiveson wrote that email. I've seen it before; it seems to be a kind of chain email being forwarded by people to each other in order to raise awareness. But I get your point.
And I HATE Michael Bay movies. I watched Armageddon once, and it's the only movie I've ever watched which left me feeling sickened and enraged. It was a mockery of everything in life that matters, and I despised every second of it.
And Pearl Harbour? I'll just repeat what a friend said after seeing it: 'They stole three hours of my life and I want them back!'
So I'm very glad to see Bay get the negative attention he deserves. He's an arsehole, plain and simple.

Aug 11 - 07:04 PM

jeremyd4

jeremy d

I think by now people should know what to expect from Bay; so if you don't like it, you should've realised that a long time ago... you can shut up now and quit with all the complaining.
IMO he does what he does well and a lot of people DO happen to like him. He's not like Uwe Boll or numerous other directors who don't have any talent, he just has a unique style and if you go in knowing that and don't expect any Academy Award winning piece then you shouldn't really care about him as a person and the fact he is allowed to make films.

Aug 11 - 09:24 PM

Ophiuchus

KJ T

He's an egomaniacal piece of scum whose movies are nothing less than sheer torture caught on film. Sorry, but there's no denying it. Next thing people will be saying things like 'Michael Bay is a good filmmaker, and the sky is green!'. There's no excuse for crap like Armaggeddon, aside from the general poor judgement of the guys who greenlight that stuff and the bad taste of the people who go to see it.

Aug 12 - 02:59 AM

Gareth

Gareth von Kallenbach

[b]Follow Up.[/b]
I thought it was a chain at first but I did reply. Fiveson responded and has been in touch ever since. Nice Enough Guy. He sent me a copy of Clonus and it is obvious, the two films have the same premise.

Aug 12 - 08:32 AM

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