Paralegal Activity! Paramount Being Sued over Paranormal Activity 4!

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The Hollywood Reporter

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Paralegal Activity! Paramount Being Sued over Paranormal Activity 4!In what is probably the most bizarre news story of the day, indie filmmaker Mike Costanza (The Collingswood Story) is waging a legal battle against Paramount regarding Paranormal Activity 4. Read on for details.

THR reports that Costanza has sued Paramount and producers of Paranormal Activity 4, claiming that the film used specific concepts from his work without permission and without credit or compensation. Costanza, who directed and wrote the excellent 2002 independent horror film The Colllingswood Story, argues in a suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that in 2010 he submitted material from that film in a pitch meeting with the producers. The material included details of webcam chats by characters in their late teens.

Costanza says he was told at the time that producers Steven Schneider and Spencer Medof were not interested in his concepts or in making a film based on his Colllingswood script, which he had registered with the Writers Guild. He now says that the story he wanted to tell is almost identical to what was later used in Paranormal Activity 4, which was released in 2012. That movie cost about $5 million to make and has grossed more than $138 million worldwide.

Costanza is suing for unspecified damages and an order forcing the defendants to destroy all materials based on his concepts.

Paranormal Activity 4

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  • theGoldenSimatar

    There has to be more in line then just concept; he has to prove direct 1-to-1 scenes/dialogue were lifted from his material for PA4.

    But he should be careful; studios have grown sick of folks filing lawsuits about ‘stealing their ideas’ and more than once have counter-sued instead of just giving a small payout.

  • Foywonder

    The way I see it the bigger story here is that Paranormal Activity 4 cost $5 million. Xbox Kinect dots, falling knives, and wall shadows f/x must be a lot more expensive than we realize.

  • Mr. Dark

    This is just silly. The entire plot of PA4 plays into the mythos established way back in PA2. Unless this cat is saying he came up with that entire mythos and just forgot to sue before?

    I’m sick of writers doing this crap. You come up with a concept, and all of a sudden you’ve been robbed whenever someone comes up with a similar concept? Teens talking on webcams while weird stuff goes down isn’t a script. The plot of the film involves the baby from PA2 and Katie from all the PA series and the new characters of the teens and the creepy kid from across the street. ALL of it serves to drive the PA mythos forward. Even if they copied some scares, that’s just not something you can sue over. Get over it, write a new script, and move on.

  • Terminal

    Oh shit, this is interesting. Collingswood Story is very very similar. I wonder how this will turn out.