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.

Helpful eBooks for Your Writing

Learn to Write Stronger Story Concepts, Themes & Loglines

There’s a saying that “Concept is King”. I tend to agree with this. Think about it. The concept of your story is the overall idea at its most basic core. It’s what makes us want to read your book, screenplay or see your movie after millions of dollars has been spent on developing it. You‘ve probably read a book or screenplay that was well written with lots of clever wordplay, but when’s the last time you have heard anyone excited about a mediocre concept? For me, concept is king, but execution is just as important. After all, what good is a cool idea if the author can’t tell the story in the best way it could possibly be told? Imagine if the movie “Karate Kid” was just a movie about a boy learning karate and receiving a black belt at the end to make his single mother proud. What if “The Godfather” was just about an old mob boss who ran his organization with an iron fist then just died at the end of the movie. How would that be any different from the thousands of mob flicks we’ve never even heard of with forgettable plots? These are concepts you most likely would forget an hour after watching them on the big screen.

Learn More

How to Name Your Fictional Characters (Plus More Than 2,500 Names & Meanings To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing)

You know what’s just as bad as hitting a brick wall with the plot of your screenplay or novel? Hitting that same brick wall even harder when it comes time to give your protagonist or any other character that perfect name. Having the right name for your characters not only helps them to become memorable, but can help sell the story as well. Sebastian Dangerfield (“The Ginger Man”), Tony Starks (“Iron Man”), Atticus Finch (“To Kill A Mockingbird”), Luke Skywalker (“Star Wars”), James Bond (“Casino Royale”)…the list goes on. Imagine pitching your screenplay or novel with any of these character names.

Learn More

Leave a Reply