Warner Bros. Wins Lawsuit Claiming 'The Matrix' Stole Idea
Warner Bros. came out as a winner in the court lawsuit over "The Matrix". U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled on Monday, April 28 that there was no substantial similarity between the trilogy and Thomas Althouse's "The Immortals".
Althouse sued the studio, the "Matrix" producer Joel Silver and screenwriters/directors Andy and Lana Wachowski back in 2013 for stealing his idea. He claimed he started investigating similarities of his own script "The Immortals" and the trilogy after watching "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Matrix Revolutions" in 2010. He said he submitted the script to WB in 1993.
WB later contended that the Wachowskis began working on "The Matrix" in 1992 and completed a draft of the scripts for all three films by 1993. Althouse's script was about a CIA agent who gained immortality from a drug and found himself in the year 2235. The protagonist fought the reanimated Nazis who seek to destroy "short-lifers".
Going into details, Klausner noted, "In contrast, in 'The Matrix' trilogy, machines harvest humans' energy while trapping their minds in a virtual reality known as the 'matrix.' The protagonist, Neo, seeks to free humans from enslavement by the machines and protect a group of rebels who live freely in the real world."
He also debunked Althouse's argument that both movies have allusions to Christ. "...allusions to Christianity in literature date back hundreds of years and are not generally protectible," the judge said. "Looking at the details of the works, the two works express these themes very differently. The Christian allusions in The Immortals concludes with the literal Second Coming of Christ, whereas The Matrix Trilogy concludes with a metaphorical reference to Christ, as Neo sacrifices himself to save others."
Klausner concluded, "The basic premises of The Matrix Trilogy and The Immortals are so different that it would be unreasonable to find their plots substantially similar."
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