French scribe claims ‘Syriana’ is a copy

Clooney, Soderbergh shingle under attack

A French scriptwriter is suing Warner Bros. and Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production shingle, claiming that their film “Syriana” plagiarizes a script she wrote in 2002.

Stephanie Vergniault, who also names “Syriana” scribe and helmer Stephen Gaghan as a defendant in the suit, says the film’s screenplay is stolen from her script “Oversight,” which she registered in 2004 with France’s Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (SACD) and under American copyright.

The case will be heard Monday in a Paris court, where Vergniault’s lawyer will ask the judge to assign a fraud expert to examine the scripts. She is also asking for e2 million ($2.45 million) in provisional damages. If the expert finds that plagiarism was committed, Vergniault will sue the companies in civil court.

After registering her screenplay, Vergniault sent it on to a “Canadian company close to Warner,” hoping that it would co-produce her film, Vergniault’s lawyer Jasna-Hadley Stark told news agency Agence Française de Presse.

Vergniault said she started her political thriller about CIA involvement in oil companies in the Persian Gulf in 1997.

Oil-industry thriller “Syriana” bowed in Gaul in February, just before Clooney picked up a supporting actor Oscar for his role in the pic.

A Warner Bros. spokesperson said: “While we have not seen a copy of this suit, we believe it is without merit and will defend our position in court.”

More Film

  • HAF Project Market Unwraps 16th Edition

    HAF Project Market Unveils 16th Edition

    A French scriptwriter is suing Warner Bros. and Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production shingle, claiming that their film “Syriana” plagiarizes a script she wrote in 2002. Stephanie Vergniault, who also names “Syriana” scribe and helmer Stephen Gaghan as a defendant in the suit, says the film’s screenplay is stolen from her script […]

  • Filming on Italy to Honor Monica

    Monica Bellucci and Gina Lollobrigida to Be Honored at L.A. Italian Culture Festival

    A French scriptwriter is suing Warner Bros. and Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production shingle, claiming that their film “Syriana” plagiarizes a script she wrote in 2002. Stephanie Vergniault, who also names “Syriana” scribe and helmer Stephen Gaghan as a defendant in the suit, says the film’s screenplay is stolen from her script […]

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead to Co-Star With

    Mary Elizabeth Winstead to Co-Star With Will Smith in Skydance's 'Gemini Man'

    A French scriptwriter is suing Warner Bros. and Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production shingle, claiming that their film “Syriana” plagiarizes a script she wrote in 2002. Stephanie Vergniault, who also names “Syriana” scribe and helmer Stephen Gaghan as a defendant in the suit, says the film’s screenplay is stolen from her script […]

  • Wide Release on Christian Bale's 'Hostiles'

    Film News Roundup: Wide Release on Christian Bale's 'Hostiles' Moved Back a Week

    A French scriptwriter is suing Warner Bros. and Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production shingle, claiming that their film “Syriana” plagiarizes a script she wrote in 2002. Stephanie Vergniault, who also names “Syriana” scribe and helmer Stephen Gaghan as a defendant in the suit, says the film’s screenplay is stolen from her script […]

  • Sundance Womens March

    Sundance: How Will Festival Tackle #MeToo, Political Turmoil, and More?

    A French scriptwriter is suing Warner Bros. and Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production shingle, claiming that their film “Syriana” plagiarizes a script she wrote in 2002. Stephanie Vergniault, who also names “Syriana” scribe and helmer Stephen Gaghan as a defendant in the suit, says the film’s screenplay is stolen from her script […]

  • 'Maktub' Review: Palm Springs Film Festival

    Film Review: 'Maktub'

    A French scriptwriter is suing Warner Bros. and Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production shingle, claiming that their film “Syriana” plagiarizes a script she wrote in 2002. Stephanie Vergniault, who also names “Syriana” scribe and helmer Stephen Gaghan as a defendant in the suit, says the film’s screenplay is stolen from her script […]

  • DEADPOOL

    MPAA: Film, TV Industry Paid Out $49 Billion in 2016

    A French scriptwriter is suing Warner Bros. and Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production shingle, claiming that their film “Syriana” plagiarizes a script she wrote in 2002. Stephanie Vergniault, who also names “Syriana” scribe and helmer Stephen Gaghan as a defendant in the suit, says the film’s screenplay is stolen from her script […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content