The plot of HBO’s Ballers is, basically, “what if Entourage, but sports,” which makes this next part kind of incredible: Two television writers just filed a $200 million lawsuit against Ballers executive producers Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mark “You Know, Mark” Wahlberg, alleging that the latter two stole their idea. That’s like $1 million for every story line in the first season that involved a yacht!
Specifically, the two writers, Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton, claim that they created a show called Off Season and brought it to Wahlberg and The Rock in 2007, but everything fell apart shortly after and the show ended up in the Great Hollywood Unmade Project Scrap Heap. Then one day Silas and Littleton saw promos for Ballers and were like “Waaaiiitt a minute.”
E! News obtained the lawsuit, which alleges the following similarities:
The documents state, “Ballers borrows heavily from the Materials and that certain aesthetic elements, including, without limitation, physical appearance of the characters and their vehicles, and plots, scenes, as well as story lines are virtually identical” to that of their Off Season show.
They say the plot of the two shows is essentially the same: surrounding an African American football player who becomes a businessman and mentors other athletes in Miami, living lavish lifestyles surrounded by “expensive boats, exotic cars, heavy drug use, and pretty women.”
A similar lawsuit, alleging the idea for New Girl was stolen, recently wrapped up with the case getting dismissed and the plaintiffs being ordered to pay the New Girl producers’ $800,000 legal fees, so, uh, best of luck to the plaintiffs here. Hopefully Wahlberg doesn’t turn around and countersue them for ripping off Entourage. I’m pretty sure the phrase “living lavish lifestyles surrounded by ‘expensive boats, exotic cars, heavy drug use, and pretty women'” was the tagline for the movie.
(Via E! News)