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Mission: Impossible lawsuit dropped

2014-07-08 09:48
Tom Cruise

Los Angeles - A lawsuit against Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures has been dropped.

The actor and the studio were the subject of legal action from writer Timothy Patrick McLanahan, who claimed he came up with the Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol screenplay idea back in 1998 but the judge presiding over the dispute has dropped the case.

According to documents obtained by, the court had issued an order to show cause as to why the case shouldn't be dropped for lack of prosecution, but McLanahan failed to do so in a timely fashion.

The documents read: "It is ordered and adjudged that the above-entitled case is dismissed, without prejudice, for lack of prosecution and for failure to comply with the orders of the Court."

The writer - who was seeking $1bn in damages - had alleged his script for a project called Head On was rejected by William Morris Agency, but they "shopped the script around the world ... including to Tom Cruise's Rick Nicita, top agent with Creative Artist Agency."

When the fourth instalment in the iconic 'Mission: Impossible' action franchise about spy Ethan Hunt was released in 2011, McLanahan says the plot similarities were immediately obvious.

He wrote: "I immediately recognised that the scripts for this movie had been illegally written and produced from Head On's 1998 copyright."

The $1 billion sought in damages was to cover the sum of Ghost Protocol's box office sales ($694 710 000), DVD sales ($144.5m), movie rentals, subscription sales and budget ($145m).

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