Bossier City Resident Sues Marvel for $10 Billion Over Black Panther
According to the Marshall News Messenger, Bossier City resident David Louis Whitehead has filed a lawsuit in an East Texas Federal Courtroom against Marvel Entertainment, Walt Disney, Netflix, and Viacom. In the lawsuit, Whitehead alleges that the story for Marvel's 2018 film Black Panther was stolen from a movie script he wrote called "Batman Blackman".
Whitehead is asking for a jury to award him $10 billion in the case.
In addition to this lawsuit, Whitehead is a part of another lawsuit against rapper Kendrick Lamar, where it's claimed that Lamar lifted work from Michael Jackson for a song used on the Black Panther soundtrack.
Some find this lawsuit odd, because the titular character in the Black Panther film has been around for decades. The writer and director of the Black Panther movie, Ryan Coogler, has referenced the work of Jack Kirby with the character in the comics as his inspiration for the movie. In addition to a lot of the source material already existing in comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is very tightly knit from one movie to another, meaning that elements of the movie had to be dictated by the events of other films inside the shared universe. Making the gap for someone else's story to be integrated becomes an even tougher needle to thread.
Also, the fact that the lawsuit is sourcing a script for a movie called "Batman Blackman" is ironic, considering that title itself is infringing on the intellectual property of Marvel's main competitor, DC Comics, who have owned the character of Batman since 1939.
Whitehead, who is an American Government instructor at Grambling State University, initially filed the suit in November of 2018, just recently amended this lawsuit with a request to change the venue from the Eastern District of Texas. The companies he's suing responded to that motion saying the case has no relevance in Texas, and should be moved to California. Whitehead countered that the case should be moved to New York.
After those motions, Whitehead amended the lawsuit once again, to add additional companies he wants to sue. Including CBS, Comcast, Sony, Lionsgate, and others.