Adaptive Studios Says Netflix Docuseries Producers "Unapologetically Stole" Their Idea

ReMastered Still - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Netflix

The upcoming Netflix music docuseries ReMastered is at the center of a lawsuit from a pair of producers who say their idea was stolen.

TJ Barrack — son of Colony Capital founder and Donald Trump confidante Tom Barrack Jr. — and his business partner Marc Joubert are suing Jeff and Michael Zimbalist for allegedly stealing their concept for a music documentary series called Remastered

According to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Barrack and Joubert in 2011 pitched Remastered as a series of hourlong episodes that would be produced and directed by rotating A-listers. They wanted the Zimbalists to direct an episode.

"The episode, entitled 'I Shot the Sheriff,' was described by Plaintiffs as exploring 'the controversies and conspiracy theories behind the separate and unrelated shootings in Jamaica of two of the world’s most famous reggae stars, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh,'" writes attorney Howard Weitzman in the complaint, which is posted below. "The Zimbalists, who had never before heard the theory that Bob Marley’s shooting may have been an attempted political assassination orchestrated by the CIA, were intrigued by the novel subject matter and eager to direct the episode."

After the meeting, the producers sent the directors a PowerPoint deck with an overview of the concept and synopsis of each proposed episode. In early 2012, the Zimbalists agreed to direct the episode, but Barrack and Joubert shifted their focus to other projects after HBO and Showtime passed on the series.

Then, according to the complaint, the brothers Zimbalist "unapologetically stole the Remastered concept." Their version will air on Netflix as an eight-part docuseries beginning Friday — and the pilot is "Who Shot the Sheriff."

Barrack and Joubert, along with their company Adaptive Studios, are suing the Zimbalists and All Rise Films for breach of contract and breach of confidence. They're asking the court for a declaration detailing their rights under their implied contract and are seeking compensatory damages.