As fans of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, most of our coverage of Kelly Reichardt‘s eco-terrorism film, Night Moves, has made mention of the similarities between her film and Marling and Batmanglij’s latest, The East, as both films center on eco-terrorism groups who are bent on destruction. However, it now appears that we should have been playing closer attention to yet another eco-terrorism film and its similarities to Night Moves, mainly because the team behind that other film are alleging that Reichardt’s film has lifted from the production’s material in a big way.
THR reports (via Cinema Blend) that Edward R. Pressman Film has filed a lawsuit against the production (including Reichardt, screenwriter Jonathan Raymond, executive producers Todd Haynes, Larry Fessenden, Alejandro De Leon, Film Science, RT Features CEO Rodrigo Teixeira, and foreign sales agent The Match Factory GmbH) that demands that all work the film stop because “the plaintiffs claim that the unproduced work is a blatant rip-off of the popular Edward Abbey novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, which is about to be turned into an authorized film from the Catfish team of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.” Oops.
The lawsuit includes evidence that could fall under the heading of “damning,” particularly this passage:
“By way of example only, both works feature the targeting of a dam for destruction by means of ammonium fertilizer-laden boats. In the Novel, the principal bomb-maker is a beer-guzzling veteran who served overseas as a Green Beret, where he acquired his knowledge of explosives. The bomb-maker in ‘Night Moves’ is a beer-guzzling veteran who served overseas as a U.S. Marine, where he acquired his knowledge of explosives. Both the Novel and ‘Night Moves’ also feature a 20-something woman who starts out as a companion of another member of the group but develops a sexual relationship with the bomb-making veteran, despite his initial objections to her participation in the group’s illegal activities.”
That does sound…suspect.
Reichardt’s film is set to star Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard, and was looking to start filming just next month. No word yet on if this lawsuit will change any of that, but should the Monkey Wrench Gang gang prove successful, we might just be out one eco-terrorism film.
Frankly, we’re just surprised that Bob Seger didn’t think to file a suit first.