‘Zootopia’ lawsuit redrawn against Disney

Los Angeles, Feb 15 (IANS) Entertainment conglomerate The Walt Disney Company is being redrawn into a legal battle with a writer who claims the film “Zootopia” is based on his ideas.

The complaint was filed on Tuesday in the County Superior Court here, reports hollywoodreporter.com.

Esplanade Productions first sued Disney in March last year, claiming “Zootopia” had ripped off the work of “Total Recall” writer Gary L. Goldman. He said he had pitched his idea for a franchise, also called “Zootopia”, to Disney in 2000 and 2009.

Disney had argued that the works aren’t “substantially similar”.

The US district judge Michael Fitzgerald in November last year agreed, dismissing Esplanade’s copyright infringement claim with prejudice.

“The similarities between Goldman’s work and ‘Zootopia’ are not many or ‘striking’; they are few, random and superficial,” he said at the time.

Fitzgerald’s decision focused on the fact that “Zootopia” is set in an anthropomorphised cartoon animal universe while Goldman’s work focuses on a live-action animator who created a series called “Zootopia” about the teenage struggles of zoo animals.

Now a 54-page complaint has been filed, redrawing the case.

Esplanade claims Disney explored several genres for “Zootopia”, including film noir, before settling on a cop story and the film is a hybrid adaptation of Goldman’s work. The production house believes that Disney did not create its “Zootopia” from scratch but, rather, used Goldman’s materials as the basis for its movie.

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