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The Matrix franchise lawsuit going to trial

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Jan 10, 2014 | 12:59pm EST

A $300 million (£187.5 million) copyright infringement lawsuit filed against The Matrix directors Lana and Andy Wachowski is heading to trial this summer (14). Scriptwriter Thomas Althouse launched legal action against the filmmaking siblings in January, 2013 amid allegations they copied the ideas for the sci-fi trilogy from his 1992 screenplay for a project called The Immortals. He claims he submitted The Immortals to executives at Warner Bros. Pictures, the studio behind the franchise, in 1993, but never heard back from movie bosses. The Hawaiian resident only realised the similarities between the Wachowskis' work and his own script when he checked out the Keanu Reeves films in 2010, 11 years after the first instalment was released, and seven years after the two sequels, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, hit theatres in 2003. The statute of limitations for the original The Matrix has since passed, so Althouse is now demanding compensation over the two follow-ups, in addition to a cut of the $1.63 billion the movies grossed at the global box office. Andy and Lana Wachowski, formerly known as Larry, joined forces with fellow defendants at Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and producer Joel Silver to file their own countersuit against Althouse last July (13), with movie executives dismissing the legal action as "frivolous". The case will now go before a judge on 17 June (14) in a trial which is expected to last up to eight days.

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