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Filmmaker Guy Ritchie has been sued for plagiarism 

ByTeam BB

Apr 16, 2023


Filmmaker Guy Ritchie has been sued by actor and writer Mickey De Hara over copying scenes from his original screenplay in the former’s directorial The Gentlemen

According to Variety, The lawsuit, which was filed in the London High Court last month, says that Ritchie commissioned De Hara to write a sequel to the 2008 gangster film  RocknRolla based on De Hara’s personal life experiences. However, in 2018, after De Hara delivered the screenplay about a protagonist who runs a marijuana business, Ritchie told him “the time of the gangster movie was over,” intimating the project was no longer in development.

Two years later, Ritchie released The Gentlemen, starring Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam and Michelle Dockery. McConaughey plays a gangster, Mickey, who is trying to sell off his marijuana empire. De Hara claims the film is a “substantial” reproduction of his screenplay. 

The lawsuit also points out that,  The Gentlemen copies De Hara’s cast of characters, their characterisation and “unique aspects of the plot”, including a protagonist who runs a marijuana empire and an aristocrat with a drug-addicted child.

De Hara claims one scene in Ritchie’s film – in which a character called Coach, who leads a group of fighters called The Toddlers, gets into a scuffle with some youths in a cafe and squirts vinegar into their eyes – was directly reproduced from his screenplay.

In April 2020, De Hara says he asked Ritchie to give him a writer credit on the film before its digital release, but both Ritchie and one of his associates said it wouldn’t be possible and instead offered to give him a writing credit on another project that he wasn’t involved in.

“I have a feeling that might be too late, Mickey,” Ritchie texted, according to the legal filings.

“I’ll try, but what I can do is get you a credit on something in the future. Let me see what I can do. Honestly, we did try to get hold of you.”

In the lawsuit, De Hara says he “has no intention of seeking credit for original work that was not created by him” and is instead seeking “credit for his original work that has been used in ‘The Gentlemen’ without his consent and payment of the agreed remuneration.”

The writer also seeks over $250,000, including a share of the film’s profits.

Ritchie has yet to file his defence to the lawsuit, and a rep for the director did not respond by press time.





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