Is nothing original anymore? Apparently not. Rogue Pictures, a division of Relativity Media, is being sued by a relative of late author, Erna Segal, claiming that the 2009 horror, The Unborn, was a rip-off of Segal’s 1990 novel, Transfers.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint was filed on January 9 in an LA Superior Court by an heir to Segal’s estate. The plaintiff alleges a breach of an implied contract with Relativity Media and seeks about $1 million in damages as well as full credit for the story.
The suit explains that there are several similarities between the novel which is based on a young woman who becomes haunted by her dead twin, eventually goes to a psychiatric hospital, and undergoes an exorcism. The plot of the novel is extremely similar to the plot of the 2009 horror flick starring Odette Annabelle (Yustman). The plaintiff compares the similarities in theme, plot, characters and sequence of events in order to plead her case.
In 2005, the plaintiff alleges that Segal’s story, Transfers, was copyrighted and submitted to Pat Dollard, a partner working at Relativity. It wasn’t until later that the plaintiff eventually saw the film, which grossed over $20 million at the box office in its opening weekend.
Segal’s family member explains that the director and writer of “The Unborn”, David Goyer, who had previously worked with Relativity, had access to detailed ideas contained in the 1990 novel.
Relativity Media has yet to comment on this story but all I have to say is, I believe the plaintiff. I find it odd that the book was submitted to someone that just so happens to work with Relativity and four years later, they produce a movie with similar plots?
I didn’t particularly enjoy the 2009 film but I’m sure that the book in which the idea was “allegedly” stolen was a lot better, because the book is usually always better than the movie.
Segal died in 2003, which is probably why Relativity Media thought it would be fine to produce the flick in 2009 without getting permission. I hope that the plaintiff has enough evidence to win the case against the production company or at least gets something out of it. It’s too bad that Segal isn’t alive to fight for her story though.