Russian Screenwriter Sues Fox Over Alleged Plagiarism of 'The Martian'

The Martian Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

The Martian Still - H 2015

Mikhail Raskhodnikov claims the plotline of his script was used in 'The Martian.'

Russian screenwriter Mikhail Raskhodnikov is suing Fox for allegedly plagiarizing his script in The Martian.

Raskhodnikov's lawyer Shota Gorgadze said on the air of the Russian FM station Vesti that his client wrote a script entitled Marsianin (The Martian) back in 2008, which was later submitted to local and international studios.

According to Gorgadze, Raskhodnikov is certain that the script eventually made it to Fox's main headquarters via the company's Russian office and claims that the plotline and some details from the script were used in The Martian.

Raskhodnikov has filed a lawsuit with a Russian court, demanding 50 million rubles ($761,700) in damages. The suit is scheduled to be considered in mid-October.

In addition, Raskhodnikov and his lawyer are calling on the Russian government to step in and have addressed Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky.

"[Medinsky] has a legal right to initiate the suspension of the film's release until the dispute is resolved," Gorgadze said.

The Culture Ministry and Fox's Russian office would not comment on the situation.

The Martian is slated for a Russian release on Oct. 8.

This is not the first time a Russian author has accused Hollywood of plagiarizing their ideas.

Earlier this year, Chechen author Ruslan Zakriyev accused director James Cameron of plagiarism, claiming that parts of his 2002 novel, Sekretnoye Oruzhiye (Secret Weapon), were used in 2009's Avatar. But the case eventually went nowhere.