Black Panther Faces $10 Billion Lawsuit?
Based on the Marshall News Messenger, Bossier City resident David Louis Whitehead has filed a lawsuit in an East Texas Federal Courtroom against Marvel Entertainment, Walt Disney, Netflix, and Viacom. Whitehead alleges, in his lawsuit, that Marvel stole the story from a screenplay he wrote called “Batman Blackman” and used it as the basis for Marvel’s global box office smash Black Panther. Whitehead is asking for a jury to grant him $10 billion in the case for his troubles.
Not a stranger to lawsuits, Whitehead is also entangled in another lawsuit against rapper Kendrick Lamar, where the claim is that Lamar boosted work from Michael Jackson for a song used on the Black Panther soundtrack.
It’s no surprise some people find this lawsuit strange, because the main character in Black Panther has been around for decades. Ryan Coogler, who wrote and directed the movie, has gone on record as referencing the work of Jack Kirby with the character in the comics as his inspiration for the story. Not to mention all of the source material that already exists in the comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is based on various storylines from other movies they have already produced. This makes it almost impossible for someone else to just force fit their own personal story into any given Marvel movie.
Whitehead, a former Wiley College professor, has gone on record to say that Hollywood and the Government has conspired against him. “It was based on serious retaliation,” says Whitehead in a statement.
The lawsuit was initially filed in November of 2018 by Whitehead, who currently works as an instructor at Grambling State University. He recently amended the lawsuit with a request to change the venue from the Eastern District of Texas. Because the case has no relevance in Texas — based on the response from the companies he is suing — there was another motion to move it to California. Whitehead then quickly countered that the case should be moved to New York.
Whitehead then revised his lawsuit yet again so that he could add to add even more companies that he is aiming to sue. This includes CBS, Comcast, Sony, Lionsgate, and others. He is demanding a jury trial, $10 billion and $1 million in compensatory damages in the case.