According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is now facing a big lawsuit from author Gary L. Goldman, who has accused the studio of stealing his idea to make Zootopia. Goldman wrote Total Recall and Next, and he says he pitched Disney on an idea that was supposedly very similar to Zootopia in both 2000 and 2009. The studio passed both times, but the lawsuit says that Disney “copied Goldman’s themes, settings, plot, character, and dialogue” for its movie, with some of the alleged rip-offs being “virtually verbatim” to Goldman’s original work.
The THR story doesn’t offer a lot of specific details about Goldman’s supposedly stolen pitch, but apparently it would’ve included a “live-action component called Looney” and a separate animated thing called Zootopia that would’ve involved anthropomorphized animals in some way. The lawsuit even includes concept art that supposedly illustrates how blatant Disney’s rip-off is:
Disney has already responded to the lawsuit, dismissing it as “patently false” and vowing to “vigorously defend against it in court.”