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7 Weird Reasons People Sued Hollywood

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Hollywood, with its glitz and glamour, is no stranger to lawsuits.

While some legal battles are rooted in serious grievances, others are downright bizarre.

Here are ten strange reasons people have taken Tinseltown to court and the results of these cases.

A Movie Poster Caused Emotional Distress

In 2011, a Michigan woman named Sarah Deming filed a lawsuit against the distributors of the movie Drive, claiming the film's trailer was misleading.

She tried to argue the trailer made the film appear to be a high-speed action thriller akin to the Fast & Furious franchise, but the actual movie was a slow-paced, artistic film.

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She sought a refund and an end to misleading trailers.

Why this irked her to a point she hired a lawyer and launched a lawsuit is not known, but it didn't go well.

The case was dismissed by the court.

The judge ruled movie trailers are artistic expressions protected under the First Amendment.

A Bad Review Led to Defamation Claims

Actress Jessica Alba was involved in a peculiar lawsuit in 2005 when the makers of the movie Honey sued critic Robert B. McKee for defamation.

They claimed McKee’s negative review caused emotional distress and financial loss.

The case was quickly dismissed, highlighting how sensitive Hollywood can be to criticism.

It seems surprising none of the lawyers involved pointed out no one had won a lawsuit over a bad review, and the basic concept of free speech and opinion.

The court ruled that movie reviews are opinions and thus protected speech.

Extra Features on a DVD Weren't as Described

In 2007, a man named Daniel Marks filed a lawsuit against Universal Pictures.

He alleged false advertising because the DVD of the movie Serenity did not contain the special features listed on the packaging.

Marks claimed this misrepresentation led to emotional distress and sought compensation for the discrepancy.

The case was settled out of court.

Universal agreed to issue a corrected version of the DVD with the promised features.

This is one case where the claimant had a point, based around the principle of wanting what you've paid for.

A Script Idea Was Stolen… From a Napkin

In 2008, a writer named Scott Brooks sued Disney, claiming they stole his idea for the movie Frozen.

Brooks alleged he pitched the idea to Disney executives on a napkin during a chance meeting.

He sought damages for what he claimed was intellectual property theft.

The case was dismissed due to lack of evidence, with the court finding no substantial proof that Disney had copied his idea.

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A Superhero Was Too Violent

In 2016, Warner Bros. faced a lawsuit over the movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The suit was brought by a fan who claimed the film's depiction of Batman was too violent and deviated significantly from the comic book character he loved.

The plaintiff argued this caused emotional distress.

The case was dismissed for lack of merit, with the court ruling that creative interpretations of characters are protected under free expression.

Misleading Advertising Over Screen Time

In 2020, fans of actress Ana de Armas sued Universal Pictures over the movie Yesterday.

They argued that they rented the film based on trailers featuring de Armas, but she was cut from the final release.

The plaintiffs claimed this was false advertising and sought compensation for their rental costs.

The case was dismissed, with the court deciding that trailers are promotional materials that do not constitute binding promises regarding content.

Batman Sues Warner Brothers

Did you know there was a city in Turkey called Batman?

Well, there is.

In 2008, the mayor, Hüseyin Kalkan, announced the city would take on Warner Bros in court for using the town's name without permission.

He claimed the city deserved compensation for the "psychological impact" of the film on the people of the city.

He tried to blame the film for a "number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate."

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Before the lawsuit, he's quoted as saying:

"The mayor is prepping a series of charges against Nolan and Warner Bros., which owns the right to the Batman character, including placing the blame for a number of unsolved murders and a high female suicide rate on the psychological impact that the film's success has had on the city's inhabitants."

The case never happened.

Some commentators suggested the move was a cynical move by a politician to shift the blame for the area's problems onto a third party.

Others dismissed it as a publicity stunt.

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