Maybe God’s Not Dead, but he’ll probably wish he were when he learns about this lawsuit against the producers of the hokey franchise. According to The Wrap, Pure Flix Entertainment and co-founder David A.R. White are being sued for violating the eighth commandment, which The Simpsons or maybe Sunday school (and the New King James Bible) should have taught them is “Thou shalt not steal.” Screenwriters Kelly Monroe Kullberg and Michael Landon Jr. filed their suit on Monday, in which they claim that Pure Flix and White stole the premise for God’s Not Dead ’s from their screenplay for the unreleased film, Rise.
Landon Jr., whose father was Michael Landon of Little House On The Prairie fame, has been in the faith-based film business for a while, directing lots of films with “love” in the title for Hallmark Channel. And Kullberg has written about Finding God At Harvard (and After). Together, they wrote the screenplay for Rise, which they say tells the story of “a freshman at Harvard facing an environment hostile to her Christian faith” then said student “debates her professor three times on whether God exists.”
That’s part of the plot of God’s Not Dead, minus the “Professor Hercules converting to Christianity” bit, but the lawsuit’s complaint enumerates other similarities, including “the theme, set-up, opportunity, turning point, change of plans, complications, set back, final push, climax and aftermath of the Rise screenplay and the God’s Not Dead motion picture are the same.” Landon Jr. and Kullberg are seeking over $100 million, so if they win, they’ll have more money than, you know.