26 Apr 2013
Lawsuit Claims Paramount Stole 'Paranormal Activity 4' Ideas from Pitch Meeting
Filmmaker Michael Costanza claims the studio and two producers used concepts he submitted in 2010 for the hit 2012 horror movie
"Paranormal Activity 4"
Writer-director Michael Costanza has sued Paramount and producers of Paranormal Activity 4 claiming that the film used specific concepts from his work without permission and without credit or compensation.
Costanza, who directed and wrote the 2002 independent horror film The Colllingswood Story, argues in a suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that in 2010 he submitted material from that film in a pitch meeting with the producers. The material included details of webcam chats by characters in their late teens. Read the complaint here.
Costanza says he was told at the time that producers Steven Schneider and Spencer Medof were not interested in his concepts or in making a film based on his Colllingswood script, which he had registered with the Writers Guild.
He now says that the story he wanted to tell is almost identical to what was later used in Paranormal Activity 4, which was released in 2012. That movie cost about $5 million to make and has grossed more than $138 million worldwide.
Costanza is suing for unspecified damages and an order forcing the defendants to destroy all materials based on his concepts.
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Paramount for comment.
The suit for breach of implied contract was filed on behalf of Costanza by S. Michael Kernan of Beverly Hills.