Tom Cruise is being sued for the Austin Powersian sum of one billion dollars for allegedly stealing the script idea for Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol. Screenwriter Timothy Patrick McLanahan is suing Cruise, Brad Grey, Paramount Pictures, Skydance Pictures, Cruise/Wagner Productions, and others for copyright infringement, alleging they stole a script he’d written in 1998.
McLanahan says he submitted the script for his project, titled Head On, to William Morris, where it was then somehow passed on to rival agency CAA, which represents Cruise. Upon seeing Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol 12 years later, McLanahan says he “immediately recognized the script for [the] movie had been illegally written and produced from” the one he’d written for Head On. Likely complicating his case, he doesn’t cite any specific similarities in his lawsuit, however he does allege that the refusal to film his original script was based in age discrimination. (McLanahan was born in 1952, making him 61 or 62 years old; by contrast, Tom Cruise is 51.) Cruise's attorney Bert Fields issued a response to the lawsuit dismissing it as "bizarre."