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Fox, Marvel say Sony stole ‘X-Men’ ideas

‘Zoom’s Academy’ movie features children with powers
/ Source: Reuters

Twentieth Century Fox and comic book publisher Marvel Enterprises Tuesday said they sued Sony Pictures and Revolution Studios to thwart the release of “Zoom’s Academy,” a film they say infringes on their popular ”X-Men” feature films.

Both films feature children with special powers feared by the government and shunned by society, who are are taught to harness and develop their abilities in a special school, said Fox in a statement.

The copyright infringement lawsuit, filed Monday in a California federal court, also alleges Sony and Revolution engaged in unfair competition by moving up the release of their film to before the release of “X-3,” the newest “X-Men” installment on May 26, 2006.

Sony Pictures, a unit of Sony Corp., and Revolution Studios both declined to comment.

Twentieth Century Fox is a unit of News Corp.

“Just days after Fox announced ’X3’ would be released on May 26, 2006, Sony and Revolution deliberately moved up ZOOM’s release so that it would come two weeks before, instead of 11 weeks after the release of ’X3’,” the lawsuit stated.

Studios often time releases with an eye to the competition.

Marvel and Fox in their suit asked the court to order Sony and Revolution to remove infringing material from their script and not to market or release their film in a way that unfairly trades off the success of the “X-Men” comics or films.

Fox said Revolution ignored a written warning to stay away from “X-Men” in making its upcoming film, “Zoom’s Academy.”

“Although Revolution changed some parts of the ’ZOOM’ script ... those few cosmetic changes cannot cover up the fact that ’ZOOM’ continues to copy key elements, concepts, themes, characters and story lines from ’X-Men’,” the lawsuit stated.

“Zoom,” a comedy set to star Tim Allen, has not started production yet. “X-Men” and “X2” reportedly grossed more than $700 million worldwide at the box office.