Joss Whedon is being sued for copyright infringement by a man who claims that his 2006 novel was the inspiration for Cabin in the Woods. Director Drew Goddard and LionsGate are also named in the filing.
The suit was filed in the US district court of California on Monday by Peter Gallagher. The author penned a 2006 novel that he says is nearly identical to the storyline showcased in Cabin in the Woods. The author is suing for copyright infringement and is seeking $10 Million in damages.
Gallagher’s novel sees a group of young friends trekking to a cabin in the woods where they are stalked by the previous inhabitant of the domicile only to learn that the whole thing was staged and they are being filmed for television. The author has pointed out that the two main characters in his novel are named Jules and Dura and two of the main characters in the film are Jules and Dana. He has also cited similarities between the characters in his book and Whedon’s film, such as the pretty blond, the charming guy, and the scatterbrained goofball. He also points to the fact that both groups of characters find hidden cameras in their respective cabins.
Gallagher also says in the suit that he was contacted by a variety of Hollywood producers who were interested in optioning the book but does not name LionsGate or Whedon’s production company Mutant Enemy among them.
Gallagher self published the novel in 2006 and sold copies of it on the Venice Boardwalk and the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.
The similarities are fairly staggering. Multiple outlets have reached out to LionsGate, Whedon, and Goddard for comment but all requests have gone ignored or been declined at this point. I’m curious to see how this plays out and if Whedon and Goddard admit to being influenced by the novel or chalk it up to sheer coincidence. The biggest question for me is why Gallagher waited so long to file suit? More on this as it is announced.