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‘Fair’ Use

While the two action films “Cobra” and “Fair Game” might seem to have nothing in common besides explosions, gunplay, torture and murder – much of it committed by film critics in their reviews – the two films are actually based on the same novel. It’s “Fair Game, ” Paula Gosling’s novel published in 1978 about a female who sees something she’s not supposed to, and is protected by a tough cop who uses her as bait to catch the bad guys. The book was bought by Warner Bros., and adapted by Sylvester Stallone as a vehicle for himself and his then-mate Brigitte Nielsen in 1986. That film concentrated squarely on his Cobra cop character. WB went to the well again nine years later and did a more faithful adaptation of the book with the just-opened “Fair Game.” For Gosling’s part, she gets paid again for what’s considered a remake of her book, said Daniel Ostroff, the agent who originally set up the book with the studio. She’d have gotten more for a sequel, but there seems little requirement for sequels of either pic. “Book agents always make sure remake payments are provided for, but seldom do they see them so quickly. Thank you, Warner Bros.,” said Ostroff.

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