Sylvester Stallone Sued Over 'Expendables' Screenplay

 Lions Gate/Everett Collection

Sylvester Stallone is being sued for copyright infringement by a screenwriter who says The Expendables is "strikingly similar" to a script he wrote and submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office in June 2006.

In legal papers filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, Marcus Webb contends that Stallone's 2010 picture shares the same villain, plot about mercenaries, and opening sequence as his The Cordoba Caper, reports Reuters.

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Because the script was being shopped around Hollywood from 2006-2009, Webb believes Stallone and co-writer David Callaham had ample time to lift key elements from Caper. The lawsuit says, "There can be no dispute that Stallone and/or Callaham had access to and copied protectable elements of the screenplay."

Webb seeks unspecified damages and a court order prohibiting further infringement that would arise in the Expendables sequel. Callaham, Millennium Films, Nu Image Films and Lions Gate are also named in the lawsuit.

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Another lawsuit involving The Expendables -- this one targeting 23,322 alleged pirates of the film -- was voluntarily dismissed by Nu Image in August. As a result, one of the biggest copyright infringement lawsuits in Hollywood history was history, but Nu Image plans to re-file copyright infringement allegations across the nation against thousands of illegal downloaders.

The Expendables grossed $274 million worldwide, opening the door for a sequel, which will be released in August 2012. The sequel, like its predecessor, will again feature a who's who of action stars including Stallone, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris and Dolph Lundgren.

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