Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Luc Besson is pretty much paying for John Carpenter’s retirement at this point

Escape From New York
Escape From New York

2012’s fun-but-dumb sci-fi caper Lockout is becoming an increasingly expensive movie for co-writer and producer Luc Besson, who was forced last year by a French court to pay director John Carpenter for ripping off Escape From New York with the plot of the Guy Pearce-starring film. Back then, the amounts levied against Besson’s EuropaCorp production company were relatively minor—80,000 euros in all, split between Carpenter, his co-writer Nick Castle, and the film’s rights holder—but the appeals process has caused the bill to steadily pile up.

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According to Deadline, a judge ruled today that Besson and company now owe 450,000 euros—roughly $500,000—to Carpenter for the now-legally plagiarized film, which sees Guy Pearce play the “athletic, rebellious, and cynical hero” type that Carpenter apparently owns in perpetuity. That’s a lot of potential funding for the director’s ongoing, keyboard-heavy music tours, even if it’s less than the $2.4 million he initially sought.

For his own part, Besson seemed resigned to paying the cash and getting on with his career, with a spokesman for the director telling reporters they were “very surprised by the ruling, but the judges have spoken and we will accept their judgment.” Besson’s last film, Lucy, was a huge hit despite having a premise even sillier than “only the world’s baddest criminal can save the president (or his daughter),” and his next, the sci-fi comic book epic Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, drew healthy buzz after Besson showed off its Technicolor weirdness at Comic-Con this year.