According to a report by Variety, the director has been accused of stealing the idea of his 2012 Oscar Nominated film Django Unchained from writers Oscar Colvin, Jr. and his son Torrrance J. Colvin. The writers want to be compensated $100 million for their allegedly stolen work.
As many may remember, the film centered on the exploits of a freed enslaved man played by actor Jamie Foxx. Christoph Waltz’s Dr. Shultz teams up with Django in order to help rescue Django’s enslaved wife for a maniacal slave owner.
The Colvins’ script also features a character named Django Freeman but the focus of the script is on a man named Jackson Freeman who may be Django’s father.
“Before Django Freeman, there was an escaped slave named Jackson Freeman who desired to purchase his family’s freedom from a malevolent plantation owner,” according to the script’s synopsis. “Returning to the hellish realm of the South to purchase the freedom of his loved one(s) with the assistance of a Caucasian in the South is the uniquely original beat that links ‘Django Unchained’ to ‘Freedom.’”
Copyright infringement cases like this are not a new phenomenon. When The Matrix came out in 1999, Black writer Sophia Stewart pointed out similarities between her original work, The Third Eye and the movie’s script. In 2009, she won her case and got credit for the mega success of the film franchise.
There was another major case around the 2009 James Cameron directed Avatar. In fact there were four cases where Cameron was accused of stealing the film’s idea but in all cases Cameron was proven not at fault.
“There are a plethora of similarities between ‘Freedom’ and ‘Django Unchained,’” the suit asserts. “Defendants would call them coincidences, however, the intentional use of our work is neither an accident nor coincidence.”
The reality is that Tarantino may win this case and the Colvins may never receive any real justice if the allegations are true. The big name guys usually have the resources and the power to crush cases like this.