Luc Besson Must Pay More For Copying John Carpenter’s ‘Escape From New York’


A Paris appeals court has ruled that Luc Besson must pay more than $500,000 (450,000 euros) in damages to John Carpenter and rights holder StudioCanal for plagiarizing Carpenter’s 1981 classic Escape From New York when he made the 2012 film Lockout. Agence France-Presse reported on the ruling today.

This comes after Besson had appealed an original ruling in the case last fall that ordered Besson, his EuropaCorp production company and Besson’s Lockout co-writers/directors Stephen St. Leger and James Mather to pay $95,000 (85,000 euros) to co-writer/director Carpenter, co-writer Nick Castle and StudioCanal.

In Lockout, Guy Pierce stars as a wrongly convicted man who is offered his freedom if he can rescue the U.S President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates. Escape From New York centers on Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell), a soldier-turned-bank robber who is forced to rescue the U.S. President when his plane crash-lands in Manhattan which has become a giant maximum-security prison taken over by inmates.

Carpenter’s original lawsuit sought $2.4 million (2.2M euros), saying his movie was copied.

A Besson spokesman told AFP today they were “very surprised by the ruling, but the judges have spoken and we will accept their judgment.”

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