Elizabeth Banks Sued Over ‘Walk of Shame’ Idea Theft

Walk of Shame Movie Review

Elizabeth Banks and the producers of “Walk of Shame” have been sued over allegedly stealing the story from a writer’s screenplay.

Dan Rosen filed the suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles through his Shame on You Productions. Rosen alleges copyright infringement and breach of implied-in-fact contract, asserting that the ideas in “Walk of Shame” were taken from his “Darci’s Walk of Shame” script.

A spokeswoman for producer Lakeshore Entertainment, which is named in the suit, told Variety that the suit’s claims are baseless.

“Lakeshore developed ‘Walk of Shame’ independently, prior to casting Elizabeth Banks,” she said. “We believe this claim is meritless.”

Rosen alleges that he sent his screenplay to Banks in 2007 through a mutual acquaintance, then met with Banks and her husband Max Handelman, who produces films through Brownstone Productions.

“Banks and Handelman retained the Screenplay, and never returned any version of it,” the suit alleges.

Besides Banks, Handelman and Lakeshore, the suit also names “Walk of Shame” writer- director Steven Brill, Focus World, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and FilmDistrict.

The suit asserts that both scripts involve a pretty blonde woman in her thirties in a big city who goes through a break-up with her boyfriend, commiserates with her best girlfriends, gets drunk, spends the night with a younger man she just met, wakes up the next morning at his place and puts on her “inappropriate” outfit from the night before.

Banks and Handelman did not produce the film.

The raunchy comedy opened Friday in the U.S. through Focus Features and grossed a disappointing $38,000 from 51 locations during its opening weekend. Focus pointed out that the film started very strong on iTunes and shot up to No. 1 in 24 hours.

 

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  1. Doug says:

    If there was some element of originality to the idea, I would be inclined to say that the suing party might have a leg to stand on. But to think that you have a monopoly on the concept of a walk of shame is just dumb. Wait a movie focused on an attractive blonde woman, I’ve never seen anything like it. Unless they literally cut and pasted lined from his script it is not copyright infringment.
    I would imagine it must be tough to have a marketable idea and see someone else profit from it, but it goes back to the old saying it is not what you know and unfortuately he sent it to the wrong person, or at the wrong time or just didn’t follow up or his script had a decent central idea but his writing was terrible.

  2. Great movie. I liked it a lot. Instead of watching retarded comedies with Adam Sandler, more people should be able to see this movie.

  3. Kelly Rates says:

    I thought this movie was hilarious!! Watched it twice. They should have marketed it better. I’m sad it didn’t get a good turn-out!

  4. ccoffer says:

    It’ all based on a thirty year old Elaine Boozler bit.

  5. Paul says:

    Always interesting how they wait until the film premieres to file. Lawyer strategy, I’m sure.

  6. If you think that’s bad- I had a show called TMZ aka The Muzic ZOne and was contacted by AOL Time Warner in 2004 about my show. “Thirty Mile ZOne was to be their focus” They said they didn’t want to take on another brand, yet guess what TMZ was their biggest win. Similar setting in front of a couch discussing celebs and current events- we added music videos as well. It happens all the time that the ideas are recirculated and taken without concern. Its hard to fight. Just make more and smile when you see the thief on the Red Carpet. They remember you.

  7. DC says:

    “The suit asserts that both scripts involve a pretty blonde woman in her thirties in a big city who goes through a break-up with her boyfriend, commiserates with her best girlfriends, gets drunk, spends the night with a younger man she just met, wakes up the next morning at his place and puts on her “inappropriate” outfit from the night before.”

    Wow. Both scripts involve a walk-of-shame. Such an original idea…

    My imaginary script involved a bunch of teenage kids in a big city getting drunk at a house party and making stupid decisions. Be right back, I’m going to sue pretty much every movie revolving around teenagers…

  8. JimmyC says:

    Had a copy of the script … but never returned it.

    Combined with the fact the producers had no other idea’s of their own.

    Leads one to simple and obvious conclusion…the reality is… they stole it.

    And you don’t need a judge to tell you that.

    • Dan Meyers says:

      What does not returning the script have anything to do with anything? The script was written on a word processor and a copy was printed out so the writer had his original. The print given to Banks wasn’t returned? So if she went to Kinkos at 3 am (cuz she’s stealing it, you see) and made a copy and returned the original, does that mean she didn’t steal the idea? Dumb. Grasping at straws.

      Just as an earlier post said, Banks took a walk of shame in the movie Walk of Shame and it’s somehow an original idea? We were talking about girls doing the EXACT same thing in college 25 years ago: Break up, party with friends, get drunk, hook up with stranger, wake up in stranger’s bead, put on dress from night before, get hazed when you walk out by nosy neighbor, feel like crap. This guy has nothing and in addition, it’s going to lose huge money. No damages with no profit.

  9. Blah says:

    For every idea there is someone who claims it was stolen from them. This isn’t like Shia LaBeouf.

    Also… I came up with the ideas fro True Blood since I live in New Orleans as well as Transformers and the Slinky.

  10. allword says:

    If this is true, how poor can a film get. No budget for a good script.

  11. Chris says:

    Hollywood – another script stolen. Color me surprised.

    Actually good idea or no, theft is theft.

    So yes sue them, because as more people do – only then will they learn that theft is not okay – and they will end up in court.

    • Doug says:

      That’s like saying someone stole the idea for a knight in shining armor saving a maiden in distress or a fat guy who is comically down on his luck or the love struck couple who finds a way to be together against incredible odds or the horny teenagers who get drunk at the big house party, or any of dozens of other troupes from our popular culture.
      Copyright infringment is fairly hard to demonstrate and is much more significant that the “they stole my idea” that this guy seems to be indicating.
      It is unfair when people get ideas stolen from them but to steal something needs to have some semblance of being original or unique.

  12. Glenn C. says:

    First of all this idea sounds really really really lame and stupid! Who cares about the story! The subject matter! Sounds like one of those brainless reality shows! Not a real film! OMG!!!! Whoever thought this was something to pursue should really be leaving the film business! They too are as brainless as the ones who came up with this piece of crap!

  13. This is all the worse because that idea is such a amazingly original concept that has never seen the light of day, let alone happened to any woman ever. Imagine having your oscar chances stolen from you like that. I may actually go see the film on the back of this. Seriously though if he does have all the records and it adds up he prob will get something, originality of concept being irrelevant.

  14. Dave Mowers says:

    In America little people don’t matter, they don’t count, laws and rules are solely for the benefit of those with money and without any money you have no rights. That is why your rights, your perceived “rights” are being trampled on daily…it is obviously the “America” our Founding Fathers intended.

    Now serve in your lowly peonic place wage slave and shut up.

  15. Julienne says:

    My boss has had several projects blatantly stolen from him. But it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to sue the loser-criminals.

  16. Yirmin says:

    I really wish that California had judges with half a brain… most of these frivolous lawsuits could be tossed and the attorney that filed it fined for wasting the taxpayers time and money on these things. If someone plagiarizes something that is one thing, but an idea even if they took the same basic story is not something that anyone should expect to profit on.

    • Tom says:

      True. As described here, far too generalized an idea to be actionable. On the other hand, people who steal ideas usually are incapable of making a good – or even remotely good – movie, so double demerits for Elizabeth Banks there.

  17. Wasn’t “Darci’s Walk of Shame” a Kickstarter project that Melissa Joan Hart tried to get going in the wake of the “Veronica Mars” success? She cancelled it after about a day, but I remember the plot line being the same. Was it the project Dan Rosen is suing over now, or just a similar idea? — smile

    • Paul says:

      I’m assuming it’s the same. Same name and plot. Would’ve been an interesting sidenote to add to the story, if someone at Variety had put two and two together.

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