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Lawsuit filed claiming that the idea for “Trouble with the Curve” was stolen

Oct 1, 2013, 4:59 PM EDT


I think “Trouble with the Curve” was kind of a bad movie. As a general interest movie it was a cliched aging father/misunderstood daughter thing and its portrayal of the baseball world is just terrible. Really, the bad guy — the Billy Zabka character — is a paper thin caricature of a stats-oriented analyst that even the most ardent “Moneyball” hater would laugh at as too obvious.

But even if it’s bad, the movie did make $35 million at the box office and is no doubt being rented (on VHS maybe) by a lot of older folks who like to see youngsters put in their place. So there’s value there. And, according to one man, that value was stolen from him. Via Variety:

A college baseball player turned filmmaker has filed suit against Warner Bros., the Gersh Agency, United Talent Agency, Malpaso Prods., screenwriter Don Handfield and director Robert Lorenz and several others, alleging that Warner Bros.’ “Trouble With the Curve” was lifted from the scripts and concept reel of one of his passion projects, “Omaha.”

There is no comment from the credited writer or the studio, but the plaintiff’s allegations are fairly specific and, at first blush, more than a little compelling.


  1. largebill - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    Someone once said there is nothing original left for Hollywood to do so they just change the names & couple other specifics and re-shoot the same movie done decades earlier.

    Or was it Henny Youngman who said there are only two jokes (the wife and the mother-in-law) and everything else is just a variation of those two.

    • blacksables - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      Seven themes

      Everything works from here.

    • 18thstreet - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      The fax machine is just a waffle iron with a phone attached.

      • chacochicken - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        Kevin Bacon’s wife went to the same school as my ex-wife’s step-sister.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:36 PM

      Considering that they remade Carrie, I tend to agree. Hollywood ran out of ideas years ago.

      • cohnjusack - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        NO, they didn’t run out of ideas. It’s just brain-dead douchebags would rather go watch “Transformers 11” than anything remotely original.

  2. chacochicken - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Trouble with the Curve or How Voros McCracken nearly killed Derek Lowe.

  3. titansbro - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    That movie did suck. I mean, timberlake as a former top dog pitching prospect? C’mon.

  4. thebadguyswon - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    Mmmmm. Amy Adams.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:34 PM


      • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        I’m not hating; I’m asking, you jerks!

      • thebadguyswon - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:52 PM

        I just have an affinity for redheads.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        That’s cool. I just thought she was considered more “cute” than “mmmmm.” Interesting.

      • spudchukar - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:01 PM

        No, it is mmmm in my world.

      • sdelmonte - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:56 PM

        Very pretty.

        But redheads just should not be cast as Lois Lane.

      • anthonyverna - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:01 PM

        Have I mentioned that my girlfriend is a redhead?

      • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:48 PM

        Gloating to the fellas?

      • anthonyverna - Oct 2, 2013 at 1:19 AM

        Who, me? Naaaaah.

    • crashdavis99 - Oct 2, 2013 at 9:09 AM

      I see your Mmmmm and I’ll raise you a Ohhhhhh! Amy Adams is tasty!!!!

  5. Caught Looking - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Pure fiction. The Red Sox had the first overall pick in the movie. They’ve never picked higher than third and that was in 1967.

  6. brianincbus - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    Why would anyone want to claim credit for coming up with that crappy movie?

    • km9000 - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      Maybe his version was actually good?

  7. tigers182 - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:36 PM

    Thankfully my wife doesn’t have a trouble with the curve.

    • Caught Looking - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      But she throws a spitter.

  8. heyblueyoustink - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    Who steals poop?. Then again, who sues claiming poop was theirs in the first place?

    • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      • heyblueyoustink - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM

        Very good miss! Then again, the president would have to approve.

        I hear he’s not in that kind of mood at the moment.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        Presidential approval was just a rubber stamping. That is, btb, how we acquired Howland Island and Midway, etc.

    • mckludge - Oct 1, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      There’s gold in that thar poop. Or at least a few hundred thousand dollars.

  9. jdillydawg - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Ok, maybe the guy is right, it was stolen. But if it took him this long to file the suit, I’m guessing the idea was sitting around on a shelf long enough that someone probably thought it was public domain by that time.

    • herkulease - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      Or he’s been trying to negotiate with the studios and they’ve been stone walling him so he filed suit. The movie only came out last year.

  10. lew24 - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    If this movie was really your idea, are sure you want to tell anyone else that?

    • herkulease - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:20 PM


      “Hey remember that horrible movie, can you believe I got paid 6 figures to write that crap.”

  11. buffalo65 - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    I liked it.

  12. buffalo65 - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:40 PM

    I liked it.

  13. fearthehoody - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Amy Adams = Los Angeles 6 at best

  14. sdelmonte - Oct 1, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    If he does win the suit, though, odds are he will be told the movie lost money, a la Art Buchwald’s suit over Coming to America.

  15. metalhead65 - Oct 1, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    I loved it because of the portrayal of the stat guy.

  16. kelshannon19 - Oct 1, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    If they really wanted it to be realistic, the Astros surely would have the number one pick. Not the Sox.

  17. anthonyverna - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Since copyright law is a part of the focus of my law practice, I will say that I’m intrigued by the specificity of the Variety report. That said, it’s just a Variety report and there are details that will be difficult to prove (like the chain of command, showing that it went from the plaintiff to the defendants).

  18. Gamera the Brave - Oct 1, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    I didn’t know Billy Zabka was in this movie.
    Now I HAVE to see it.
    Go Cobra Kai!

  19. chip56 - Oct 1, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    I love that people like Craig and Keith Law and the rest are still whining and obsessing over this movie because it mocked the…well the Keith Laws and Paul DePodestas of the world.

  20. 13arod - Oct 2, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    i loved this movie

  21. don444 - Oct 4, 2013 at 4:58 AM

    What makes you think a $35 million US gross is particularly positive? While not a total bomb, this movie is generally considered to have been disappointing overall and is definitely one of the lesser projects in the entire Eastwood canon.

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