Warner Bros. on Thursday called a college player turned screenwriter’s suit “reckless” after he claimed that “Trouble with the Curve” ripped off his passion project “Omaha.”
In fact, an outside attorney for the studio sent a letter to Ryan A. Brooks’ attorney, Gerald P. Fox, calling on him to drop the case and including a copy of a script it says formed the basis for “Trouble with the Curve,” released last year and starring Clint Eastwood. The letter claims that the script, from Randy Brown, was optioned by the Bubble Factory in 1998, well before Brooks developed his idea, Fox said.
In a statement, Warner Bros. said that the “lawsuit is reckless and the allegations false.” Neither Warner Bros. nor Brown would release a copy of the letter.
In an interview, Fox challenged that the script was actually optioned in 1998, saying that it features material, like wireless laptops, that were not yet in widespread use. He also said that they have found no evidence of registration that year with the Copyright Office or the Writers Guild of America. “I have asked them to give us the originals because we have experts that can age the documents,” he said.
On Oct. 1, Brooks sued Warner Bros., Malpaso Prods., screenwriter Don Handfield, director Robert Lorenz and UTA and Gersh Agency, along with several others, in an alleged “conspiracy” to cover the lineage of the project by enlisting an “imposter” writer, Brown, to take credit for the movie when it was really based on “Omaha.” Eastwood was not named in the suit.