Hallmark Hall of Fame disputes writer’s suit

Production company sez claim about Christmas pic has 'no merit'

Hallmark Hall of Fame Prods. is pushing back on a writer-director’s claim that they ripped off his Christmas movie project and proceeded without him.

“Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions and McGee Street Productions are shocked by the baseless and inflammatory allegations made by Brad Wigor and his attorney…falsely claiming Hallmark had misappropriated a treatment he had submitted,” Hallmark said in a statement released Thursday.

Hallmark said its project is “based entirely” on the 1966 book “Black and Blue Magic” and asserted that there is “no merit” to Wigor’s claims.

On Wednesday, Brad Wigor filed suit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claiming that Hallmark and McGee Street Prods.’ “unilaterally misappropriated” his work, a treatment and partial script called “The Night Flyer.” He was to write and direct, his suit claims, but instead he was frozen out as Hallmark pursued the project without him. His suit says that he received a letter in April from Hallmark saying that it was developing a project with “many significant and striking similarities” to “The Night Flyer,” but that it was based on “Black and Blue Magic.”

“Whatever similarities Mr. Wigor’s treatment has to the 45-year-old book are his concern and not Hallmark’s,” Hallmark’s statement read. “As a courtesy, Hallmark sent Mr. Wigor a letter in April informing him of Hallmark’s acquisition of the rights to develop a film project based on ‘Black and Blue Magic.’ “