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Screenwriter Simon Stephenson Says Oscar-Nominated Film Was ‘Plagiarized Line-By-Line’

Variety reported on Saturday that Simon Stephenson, the screenwriter behind notable works such as “Luca'' and “Paddington 2,'' has accused “The Holdovers'' of plagiarism.

Stevenson made these claims in a series of emails to Leslie McKee, senior director of credits at the Writers Guild of America (WGA). variety. He claims that “The Holdovers” director Alexander Payne essentially copied “Frisco,” an unproduced screenplay that circulated in Hollywood circles a decade ago.

“The evidence that the Holdover script was plagiarized line by line from Frisco is truly overwhelming. Even in the shortest sample, people almost universally use the word 'brazen,'” Stevenson said in an email. Variety magazine reported.

“Frisco,'' which ranked third on the industry's “Blacklist'' of promising unproduced screenplays in 2013, is said to be strikingly similar to “The Holdovers.'' Variety reported that he suggested that Payne had access to his own script in circulation and before he began production on “The Holdovers.”

The story of “Frisco,'' about the bond between a difficult children's hospital employee and a 15-year-old student, stars Paul Giamatti as a prep school teacher who spends Christmas vacation with a troubled teenager and the school's cafeteria manager. It is said to reflect the “Holdovers” he painted. Variety said. Stevenson's comparison of his two works extends to scenes, sequences, and dialogue.

According to Variety, following the email to McKee, he also sent an email to the WGA Board of Directors.

“I believe that a meaningful entirety of the screenplay for a movie that has WGA-approved credits and is currently on track to win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay was plagiarized line-by-line from my popular, unproduced screenplay.'' “I can prove beyond any doubt that it is,” he said, Variety reported. “I can also certify that the director of the film in question read my script on two separate occasions before it entered development.” (Related: Old School Hollywood Types Have a Rare Chance to Recover Lost Glory and Award Some Terrible Movies)

Despite these accusations, the WGA reportedly advised Stevenson that the matter was outside its jurisdiction and suggested litigation as the most practical recourse. Meanwhile, “The Holdovers'' continues its Academy Award campaign, with the film reported to have been nominated for five awards, including Best Original Screenplay. new york post. Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Payne have remained silent on the matter and have not commented to the press regarding these allegations.

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