The makers of the D.J. Caruso-directed Shia LaBeouf-starrer Disturbia called Hitchcock’s Rear Window everything from an “homage” to “an inspiration” to a “jumping off point”. Meanwhile, the LA Times called Disturbia “an uncredited remake of Rear Window“, which was more than enough reason to sue for the lawyers of the people who still owned the rights.
“Obviously, Rear Window was a big inspiration,” Caruso told the Los Angeles Daily News last year. “I embraced it instead of running away from it. But I didn’t want it to be a remake because that would be silly. You can’t remake Rear Window.”
That would be silly. Especially the part where you have to pay some asshole money.
With a $20 million budget, Disturbia was considered a modest hit last year, taking in $80.2 million at the U.S. box office. None of which was shared with the estate of the late Sheldon Abend, who bought the rights to Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 story It Had to Be Murder after the author died in 1968, according to the lawsuit. [E!]
The original Rear Window came out in 1954, by the way. So basically, this guy bought the rights to a movie that had already been made 14 years prior. Now the rights are 40 years old and his heirs are still trying to collect on it. This is a tough one. On one hand, Hollywood should stop being thieving dicks (see also: Lord of the Rings). On the other, I hate anyone who inherits anything. Clearly, the only way to resolve this is with a dismissive wanking motion.