Snatch creator Guy Ritchie has responded to a lawsuit claiming he copied ideas for The Gentlemen from a friend and writer.
According to Variety, Ritchie submitted a filing to London’s High Court earlier this week, which denied that the idea for a long-gestating sequel to another of his movies, RocknRolla, was based on friend Mickey de Hara’s life or that he had hired him to write the sequel. Ritchie’s defense filing was delayed following a court order to give the parties time to negotiate and settle out of court.
De Hara’s claim, which emerged several months ago, said Ritchie used his script for the sequel along with plot points about his life and that this eventually had an influence on The Gentlemen, which copies the characters and specific plot points that were part of the planned sequel. His lawsuit had focused on overlaps in plot points.
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Ritchie’s claim said that he paid de Hara £25,000 ($31,900) in 2006 to provide “anecdotes” and “act as a sounding board” while he was writing the RocknRolla sequel, but he stressed that the sequel was never made as he believed the era of gangster films was over. He also said he had discussed turning RocknRolla into a trilogy but never struck an agreement with de Hara or another writer, Martin Askew.
Ritchie acknowledged he made “some use” of the RocknRolla sequel’s screenplay while writing The Gentlemen but denied de Hara’s claim that the latter was a “reproduction of a substantial part” of the former.
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam and Jeremy Strong and taking a similar approach to Ritchie’s previous action-comedy movies, The Gentlemen followed an American expat trying to sell off his highly profitable marijuana empire in London. RocknRolla came out a decade prior and followed the travails of a mob boss.
The case continues. Variety was first with the news.
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