Lost has been on for so many years. We all know this run of flashback and plot twists is finally coming to an end this year. So think about this: why is it only now, after a successful run and a very dedicated fan base, that someone comes out and says the entire show was ripped off his idea?
I don’t have an answer. Go ask Anthony Spinner.
He’s suing ABC and Touchstone, accusing them of taking the entire concept of Lost from a script he wrote back in 1977. He claims he was paid $30,000 to write a television pilot, which eventually became a 121-page script named, well, Lost. He also claims the network passed on the series three times–in 1977, 1991 and 1994–before suddenly showing up in 2004 with Lost, only with the Cuse-Lindelof bits.
Now, he is suing for damages and, most importantly, a cut from all royalties and profits, among other things.
Spinner, who worked as a producer for classic television shows such as Baretta and Babes in Toyland, presented a list pointing the similarities between his version of Lost and the Lost we see now. The 78-year-old (at least according to IMDB) claims that the show’s premise is exactly that of his script’s: a plane crashes in a “tropical jungle-like environment”, and the survivors will have to work with each other to survive–and then everything breaks loose.
Spinner even maintains that the characters on Lost and his script are exactly the same, with the same backgrounds and motivations–only they have different names. He has a Dr. Braeman, which he connects to Lost‘s Jack. He has a drug-addicted Kyle, which he connects to Lost‘s Charlie. He has a minority Coby and a slurry Butch, which connects to Lost‘s Sayid and Sawyer. The list even points out the use of flashbacks, trip wires, and that bit with the raft being destroyed by natives, and warnings written in caves…
…but let me get personal here. I saw the document, as provided by the folks at TMZ, and for some reason it doesn’t convince me. It’s more of a list where, to prove a point, he writes the same things on both sides and only changes the names just to illustrate the differences. And then there’s the timing: Lost has been so big, but why just now?
Oh well, then. To each his own. Now let’s see if this will ever go to court…
– Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of ABC)