Writer accuses Stallone of stealing plotline for “The Expendables”

Did Sylvester Stallone lift the storyline for “The Expendables” film from another screenplay? An intellectual property lawsuit filed recently claims the Hollywood action star did, and it seeks to make sure “Expendables 2” is never released in 2012.

The copyright infringement suit alleges Sylvester Stallone, his movie co-writer and the companies that helped produce and release the film last year are guilty of stealing the plot line from a story and screenplay that were copyrighted more than five years ago.

Allegations say the similarities between “The Expendables” and “The Cordoba Caper” are unmistakable, including the identical name and villainous role of a Latin dictator named General Garza. A sea rescue that paralleled the main story was also criticized for following “The Cordoba Caper” plot too closely. The suit alleges that “The Cordoba Caper” was widely circulated among officials in the movie industry and that Stallone could have easily accessed and swiped the story.

“The Expendables” follows the heroic efforts of a gang of older mercenaries who attempt to overthrow an evil military leader. Among the film’s stars were Stallone, Jet Li and former California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The film’s financial success has prompted a sequel, set to be released next summer. The August 2012 screening could be disrupted, unless the infringement suit is settled in favor of Stallone or settled out of court.

The writer of “The Cordoba Caper” is seeking unspecified damages and a halt to alleged future infringement in the form of a sequel. Lions Gate Entertainment and Millennium Films are among the companies named in the suit.

Source: Reuters, “Stallone sued, accused of stealing screenplay,” Grant McCool, Oct. 25, 2011