The Hollywood Reporter tells of a martial arts guy who claims he was ripped off by a large animation studio.
... Terence Dunn, who describes himself as a writer-producer-teacher-philosopher and says he "pioneered the practice of tai chi, kung fu and qigong in modern medicine," claims in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that he originated the idea for a movie about a "spiritual kung-fu fighting panda bear" and met with the studio months before it decided to make "Kung Fu Panda" without him. ...
The way this works is, somebody has a hot idea that may or may not be close to a hit movie that is later produced. The somebody pitches the idea to a studio functionary, and we go on from there.
In most cases, the studio insists that the story pitcher go through an agent or sign a release-from-liability waiver or something. Usually this kind of thing doesn't get done over the phone.
If Mr. Dunn has some verifiable evidence that he laid out all the magic elements to studio execs who later hosed him, then maybe Mr. Dunn will see some cash money out of this. And if not, not.
Me, I heard early development tales about KFP way before the feature saw the light of day. When a DreamWorker told me about a martial arts panda I recall thinking: "What a lame idea...".
Which shows you how brilliantly prescient I am.
Meantime, "Shrek IV" only had a 19% drop weekend to weekend, and now stands at $147 million domestic. Smells like a hit to me ...