Quentin Tarantino Sued Over Copyright Infringement in ‘Django Unchained’ Script
When father-and-son screenwriters Oscar Colvin Jr. and Torrance J. Colvin first sat down to watch Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, they were probably excited about the prospect of another revenge film from the popular director. But by the time the film had ended, they were inspired to embark upon a two-man mission of vengeance of their very own, in dogged pursuit of the powerful man who had wronged them. And in this instance, Tarantino is the meth-mouthed Leo DiCaprio figure, and the basic concept of the film’s script is stolen wife Kerry Washington.
What I'm trying to say is that the Colvins are suing Tarantino over intellectual property on the Django Unchained script, the claim being that more-than-striking similarities between Tarantino’s script and that of the Colvins’ screenplay Freedom are no coincidence. Variety reports that the lawsuit alleges, “Before Django Freeman, there was an escaped slave named Jackson Freeman who desired to purchase his family’s freedom from a malevolent plantation owner.” The suit dictates that “[r]eturning to the hellish realm of the South to purchase the freedom of his loved one(s) with the assistance of a Caucasian in the South is the uniquely original beat that links Django Unchained to Freedom.” Variety also reports that the suit requests damages in an amount exceeding “hundreds of millions of dollars,” which, frankly, seems like a lot.
It’s worth noting that the Colvins chose to spring this legal action on the director on December 24, the eve of his newest film’s release; it smacks of opportunism in what sounds like a relatively shaky case that hopes to gain a little traction by piggybacking on The Hateful Eight’s headlines. Tarantino’s camp and the Weinstein Company have both declined to offer comments.