Turns out there’s not enough room in Hollywood for two British agents with a license to kill. Aiming for a clean shot, MGM and James Bond producer Danjaq earlier this week went after Universal in federal court over the latter’s Section 6 project. Calling the WW1-set Aaron Berg-scripted pic a “James Bond knockoff” the plaintiffs want unspecified damage and they want the court to declare an injunction shutting down the Universal property that Joe Cornish was recently brought on board to helm. “This lawsuit concerns a motion picture project, in active development, featuring a daring, tuxedo-clad British secret agent, employed by ‘His Majesty’s Secret Service,’ with a ‘license to kill,’ and a 00 secret agent number on a mission to save England from the diabolical plot of a megalomanical villain,” the heavily censored April 3 filing says (read it here). “Most moviegoers would assume from that description alone that this lawsuit concerns the next James Bond picture. It does not.”
This week’s legal move by MGM and Danjaq comes, the two claim, after numerous efforts to address the situation and the similarities between Bond and the pic that chronicles the creation of Britain’s MI6 spy agency at the beginning of the last century. Needless to say, even after the plaintiffs asked in March to see the screenplay to make sure it wasn’t too Bondy and Universal declined to send it over, those efforts haven’t worked out. In the end, someone’s going to be at least a little shaken if not already stirred.
Robert Schwartz, Cassandra Seto, and Brian Finkelstein of LA’s O’Melveny & Myers are representing the plaintiffs as is Marc Becker of LA firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan