The Wrap reports that Creed director Ryan Coogler, Sylvester Stallone, and MGM Studios are being sued for copyright infringement over the premise of the 2015 film. Jarrett Alexander, an actor and screenwriter, filed a lawsuit last month, alleging that he’d written a script for a movie he called Creed: Rocky Legacy, which he then pitched to Stallone, in addition to other producers. According to his complaint, Alexander believes that the “legacy” element of the movie, which was “crucial to his script,” was used “prominently in marketing materials for Coogler’s Creed.” He claims that the defendants “must have seen his copyrighted materials and ideas because he submitted links to his website to them via Twitter.”

MGM, Warner Bros. and New Line have already responded to the suit in a joint statement that describes Alexander’s claims as “baseless and an ill-advised attempt to profit from the work of others,” because they essentially own the intellectual property that Alexander is trying to lay claim to:

Creed is based on characters from the Rocky films that are indisputably protected by our copyright. The incredibly talented director, writers and producers who revitalized these beloved characters and created the story for Creed deserve full credit for their originality and hard work. We will vigorously defend this meritless lawsuit and hold Mr. Alexander accountable for filing it.”


Alexander also alleges that the idea of having Adonis Creed fight a Russian boxer in the upcoming sequel was taken from his Creed: Rocky Legacy screenplay, in which Adonis fights his father’s killer, Ivan Drago. The report doesn’t mention it, but we found this trailer online for Alexander’s proposed Creed movie that was uploaded in April 2012, more than a year before MGM announced that Coogler would direct the spin-off film, the costs of which Alexander might tally in his suit seeking “compensatory damages, punitive damages, pre-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees and costs.”