Alexander v Metro-Goldwin-Meyer Studios, Inc.

CV 17-3123-RSWL-KS (2017)

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Alexander v Metro-Goldwin-Meyer Studios, Inc.

United States District Court for the Central District of California
CV 17-3123-RSWL-KS (2017)

Facts

Jarrett Alexander (plaintiff) created a story around the son of a character in Rocky, a movie made by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc., New Line Cinema Corporation, Chartoff-Winkler Productions Inc., Sylvester Stallone, Ryan Coogler, and Aaron Covington (collectively, the moviemakers) (defendants). Alexander drafted a screenplay for the story he titled Creed (the screenplay). He also created a pitch reel to promote the screenplay (the pitch reel). To generate interest, Alexander widely and unconditionally circulated the screenplay on the Internet and social media between 2010 and 2013, including sharing a link to the pitch reel’s website on Stallone’s Twitter account. Stallone did not respond to the tweet, and none of the other moviemakers responded to Alexander’s unsolicited pitches. Alexander did not engage at any time in any negotiation or dialogue with any of the moviemakers regarding his Creed story. He simply believed he would be compensated for his Creed idea were a movie to be made about it following his widely sharing the screenplay, which he did in accordance with what he believed to be industry custom. MGM and Stallone announced on July 24, 2023, their plans to develop Creed, a movie about the son of one of the characters in Rocky—the very story Alexander created and pitched all over the Internet. Alexander sued the moviemakers for breaching an implied-in-fact contract with him. The moviemakers responded with a motion to dismiss with prejudice.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Lew, J.)

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