"Ballers" producers Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg and HBO Sued Over Copyright Infringement
Mar 21, 2016 06:51 AM EDT
Two screenwriters filed a lawsuit against actors Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg and HBO for copyright infringement allegations over the American televison comedy series "Ballers". Filed in federal court in California on Tuesday, the suit seeks $200 million compensation.
The Los Angeles Times reported, screenwriters Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton, claims defendants, the two actor-producers, creator Stephen Levinson, HBO, production companies 7 Bucks Entertainment and Leverage Management of the television series, "Ballers" copied the concept of their show they created in 2007 tilted "Off Season".
The court documents also stated, they contacted the famous actors with a pitch for a football-themed show called Off Season in 2009. The HBO series Ballers, "borrows heavily" from Off Season, certain aesthetic elements, including, without limitation, physical appearance of the characters and their vehicles, and plots, scenes, as well as story lines," the suit alleged, Yahoo News quoted.
The legal complaint also added, the screenwriters gave their Off Season screenplay personally to the executive of IMG Productions, Steve Meyer, a sports production company, and to Chris Albrecht, another IMG executive and the acting chief executive officer of HBO in May 2007. Johnson and Wahlberg of the series has not yet release their statement regarding the case, according to Life & Style Magazine.
The said lawsuit was initially filed in December, and HBO issued a statement saying, "We are confident the case has no merit."Silas and Littleton want the credit they deserve, on which the show sadly fell apart when they were refused a "created by" credit in 2009.
"Ballers" centers around an ex-American football player played by The Rock who lives a lavish lifestyle in Miami, and becomes a businessman while mentoring other athletes. After premiering on HBO on June 21, 2015, Ballers was renewed for a second season, which is set to air on the primetime network this summer.