The author of a 1995 comic story with the same title as the movie Cowboys & Aliens has sued producers of the movie and a comics publisher, alleging they stole his idea. Austin-based author Steven John Busti filed the suit in federal court in Texas. The suit named DreamWorks Studios, Universal Pictures and comic book entrepreneur Scott Mitchell Rosenberg and his company Platinum Studios as defendants. Busti claims he came up with the idea for cowboys fighting aliens in 1994 and published a story the following year titled “Cowboys & Aliens” in a comic called Bizarre Fantasy. The suit also claims that in 1994 the publication Comic Shop News ran a feature on his Cowboys & Aliens idea in the same issue that ran a story on Rosenberg. Rosenberg’s LA-based Platinum Studios in 2006 launched the graphic novel series Cowboys & Aliens — which Busti asserted in the suit has striking similarities to his work. Universal and DreamWorks bought movie rights from Platinum. Busti’s claim is another black mark against the movie on which the studios placed high hopes and a big budget. A major disappointment financially, Cowboys & Aliens grossed about $175 million worldwide, barely more than it cost.
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