The Matrix directors Lana and Andy Wachowski have triumphed in a copyright lawsuit over the hit movie trilogy. Writer Thomas Althouse launched legal action against the filmmaking siblings, studio Warner Bros. Entertainment, and producer Joel Silver in 2013 claiming the franchise copied aspects of his screenplay The Immortals, which he submitted to Warner Bros. in 1993.
Althouse cited an alleged 118 similarities between the storylines, but claimed to have been unaware of the likeness until he saw the Keanu Reeves films in 2010, 11 years after the first instalment of the franchise hit cinemas. He demanded compensation regarding two sequels in the franchise, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, as well as a portion of the $1.63 billion the films grossed worldwide.
However, in granting a summary judgement, U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner ruled, “All of Plaintiff’s examples are either too general for copyright protection, are scenes a faire (scenes typical of a genre), or are commonly used, unoriginal ideas.” Klausner added that any claim that the film concepts shared similarities in plot was unfounded as “the basic premises of the Matrix Trilogy and The Immortals are so different that it would be unreasonable to find their plots substantially similar”.