Syriana Film-Makers Deny Plagiarism
The film-makers behind George Clooney's Oscar-winning movie Syriana denied the script plagiarised work by screenwriter STEPHANIE VERGNIAULT in a Paris, France court on Monday (29MAY06). Vergniault claims the oil thriller, written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, is based on her script OVERSIGHT, when she wrote between 1997 and 2002. Clooney picked up an Academy Award for his supporting role in the film, which he also produced. In her lawsuit against Warner Bros studios and Clooney's production company Section Eight, Vergniault is seeking two million euros ($2.55 million/GBP1.41 million) and 35 per cent of box office receipts. Warner Bros and Section Eight lawyer PATRICK DUNAUD said yesterday, "The two works bear strictly no resemblance with each other." Writer/director Gaghan says he wrote the script after being inspired by former CIA agent ROBERT BAER's memoirs. In court, Vergniault's lawyer JASNA STARK argued, "Writing Syriana demanded direct field experience. It's necessary to be a specialist of the matter to conceive a plot like that. "Gaghan has no experience whatsoever of distribution and commercialisation of oil, and of the geopolitical context." The case outcome will be decided on 19 June (06).