- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Veteran Hollywood screenwriter and producer Gary L. Goldman is taking Disney to court for copyright infringement, claiming he pitched the studio on a cartoon movie strikingly similar to 2016’s “Zootopia.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, artwork and even the title for the cartoon were ripped off from Mr. Goldman, whose writing credits include “Total Recall” and “Big Trouble in Little China.” He also was executive producer of the 2002 Tom Cruise sci-fi flick “Minority Report.”

Esplanade Productions, Inc., which employed Mr. Goldman when he twice unsuccessfully pitched the “Zootopia” project — first in 2000 and then again nine years later —  is formally listed as the plaintiff in the federal lawsuit filed in the Central District of California.

For its part, Disney says Esplanade’s claims are pure fantasy.

Mr. Goldman’s lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations. It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court,” a company spokesperson said in a statement, reported THR.

After being rewarded by audiences — upwards of $341 million in domestic sales, according to Box Office Mojo — and critical acclaim, “Zootopia” went on to garner awards for best animated picture at both the Golden Globes and Oscars this year.

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