Warner Bros. Resolves Lawsuits Over 'Hangover II' (Exclusive)
Take two aspirin and call in the morning. Disputes over stunts, tattoos, and inspiration have been put to bed.
Warner Bros. no longer has any legal headaches over The Hangover Part II. In the past couple of weeks, separate lawsuits have been resolved involving a man who claimed to be the inspiration behind the film and another man who said he was left with significant brain injuries after a stunt had gone wrong.
In October, Michael Alan Rubin sued the studio, alleging the movie was stolen from a script he wrote that described his Asian adventures. Rubin claimed that he had submitted a script that told how his marriage to a Japanese woman had gone wrong on their honeymoon in Thailand and India. Rubin alleged his publicity rights were infringed, plus he claimed he had been defamed in the film by the inference that he was under the influence of drugs when he ditched his girlfriend and proposed to a male-to-female transexual prostitute.
Two months earlier, Scott McLean sued the studio, alleging that during the making of the film, he performed as a stunt double for actor Ed Helms during an automobile chase sequence. According to the lawsuit, the film's stunt coordinator had changed the timing sequence at the last moment, which he alleged contributed to a major collision. Afterwards, McLean had to be airlifted to an Australian hospital to treat brain trauma.
Both plaintiffs dismissed their lawsuits voluntarily, according to court records. No word on whether the parties reached private settlements.
The studio resolved its other big lawsuit on the film in June. That case involved a tattoo artist who brought a lawsuit claiming the mark on Helms' face seen in Hangover Part II was a copyright infringement of a tattoo created for boxer Mike Tyson. According to the plaintiff's attorney, the parties reached an amicable resolution.
To date, Hangover Part II is the fourth highest-grossing film in the U.S. in 2011. The comedy enjoyed more than $250 million in domestic box office and plans are in development for a threequel. The film might also make a mark in helping studio lawyers figure out what types of errors & omissions insurance policies are needed for film production and the inevitable oddball litigation that follows.