Sylvester Stallone hit with lawsuit claiming he stole idea for 'Expendables'


A writer is accusing Sylvester Stallone of stealing his screenplay and turning it into The Expendables. According to Reuters, Marcus Webb filed a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court claiming that The Expendables is “in some places identical” to his 2006 short story and screenplay, titled The Cordoba Caper. In the lawsuit, Webb says his screenplay tells “the story of a team of elite, highly trained mercenaries hired to defeat General Garza, a rogue army general of a small Latin American country.” The villain in Stallone’s film was also named General Garza, and Webb claims there were also several more unusual similarities between his script and Stallone’s film. Stallone’s rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s not the first such lawsuit for Stallone. In 2003, retired boxer Chuck Wepner, who Stallone had often cited as the inspiration for the original Rocky movie, sued the filmmaker for failing to compensate the boxer, nicknamed the Bayonne Bleeder, for his life story. That case was settled out of court by a structured settlement buyer in 2006.

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Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • salsa king

    He did the same thing to Boxer Chuck Wepner and had to settle out of court. It doesn’t surprise me a bit.
    By the way Sly, your plastic surgery looks…..plastic!

    • lizzieborden

      thumbs up to your comment.. salsa king…

    • WASP

      That was some serious snakey stuff… following a guy around making a fortune off his life.

  • LOL

    Sylvester Stallone steals crap.

    • crap

      America loves LOL

  • Bebe

    He’s not very “Sly” now, is he? If you’re going to steal someone’s screenplay, wouldn’t you change the names of the characters? What a maroon!

  • ronnie

    I’m sorry. but the Expendables came out when? And only now is someone trying to sue. It always amazes me that people file lawsuits long after a film has been released. it’s just a little shady to me.

    • wks9370

      well, the writer may have been motivated to file the law suit at this time due to the fact that a sequel of the expendables is currently in developement.

    • Roberto

      Hey Moron this is how it works side A contacts side B (aka the crooks) and informs them there is a problem. Then asks how would you like to handle it? After many a months when they can’t come to a settlement for the theft, you are left with the filing of a lawsuit!

  • Under

    If this is true. Why couldn’t he have found a better story to steal??!!!

    • Egerton

      Lol, right??? If he stole this cr@p from me I certainly wouldn’t admit it.


    O my, o my… And it is also very similar to ‘The Dogs of War’ written by F. Forsyth and filmed in 1980 with Walken. What a bad guy Mr Stallone – he steals from two writers at the same time!!!

  • michelle

    somebody is always wanting something for nothing!!!!AND they try to steal it from the ones with talent .Stallone rocks and this other no name just wants something for nothing.I hope they throw his ass out of the court room

    • wks9370

      how do you know this Michelle? Don’t be so naive – material gets stolen all the time in this business… just make sure you protect your work before submitting it. Then, if they steal it- go to court.

      • michelle

        well wks9370 never heard of cordoba caper so he didn’t get far on his talent.So he’s going after the man with the true talent.Stallone could take a pile of crap and turn it into a blockbuster does that mean he should have to pay everybody that craps????

  • Lavender Darwin

    The plot was completely generic – he could have ripped off a hundred different mercenary films…

    • wks9370

      Now this is more likely what happened – a hundred writers could have come up with this same story plot. And the name coincidence is not enough to prove plagerism. Besides Names are not copyrightable.

    • Bling

      But that name of the villain is not generic which helps prove that Stallone read this guy’s script, and Michelle is ignorant. Just because Stallone is famous and this other man isn’t she tends to side with Stallone, and just call this guy a fame seeker. This happens to a lot of spec writers, even the most simplistic story’s get stolen. It’s not fair, especially for a struggling writer, who put their time and sweat into writing it. Writing a proper well formatted script is not easy, and takess a lot of time.

      • michelle

        well bling I can tell buy your words that you are a loser as well.That is how losers do they ban together seeking out trival,insignificant ,idiotic excuse for their cause.Are you serious I could name you 100’s of movies where someone used someone elses idea.It is the person that can take that idea and make it a success who has the true talent .

    • Cindy

      I repeat this comment here as it amazes me that no one knows the straight of it. I’m a writer and I can tell you that it does not matter in a court of law if the script is good or bad, if the out come of production produces an A movie or B movie, All that they will be looking for is the writers signature style. This goes way beyond similarities and originality. It has to do with sentence structure and phraseology and just a whole host of things that a write’rs past writings will establish. Now if a stolen script is not completely rewritten erasing all elements of style It can easily be proven who wrote the material; and as most theft of written works are done TO AVOID WRITING! there are usually huge chunks of signature style left in the work. Only the court appointed writing analyst will give us the verdict, if it ever reaches court. My bets on Mr. Webb

  • Reni M

    Hey dorks, it’s not the same the thing, Wepner didn’t right the f’n script, it was his life, I think Wepner was intitled to some $ but nothing was stolen…..on the other hand, Webb is stating that he copied his script, totally different scenario people!! wake up! I don’t think he would actually copy the names of characters verbatum…come on that’s common sense…duh people.

  • Tim

    I guess the writers of 100 or so episodes of “The A-Team” need to sue as well. Seriously, why do you sue for crappy ideas.?

  • Andrew

    I was looking forward to this movie so much it had everybody badass in it….Guess what movie sucks who gives a damn

  • Valerian Ruminski

    These arent the only two cases of Stallone being accused and sued. He was also taken to court by Wendell Wellman who wrote COBRA, or a screenplay exactly like Cobra which the WGA decided WAS a ripoff and the case was settled somewhat in Wellmans favor. Stallone is a thief.

  • Bruce Ramsey

    I can’t believe Wepner sued and got away with it Does that mean Muslims can sue you if you make a movie where terrorists bring down a building using planes?

  • Jeff Smith

    If this wins then every movie made in the last 30 years can be sued by someone. I would start with Armageddon (#1 box office of the year) which stole the entire script from The Hellfighters. And isn’t there another LOGAN’S RUN clone out there this week (following THE ISLAND which already ripped it off). I mean there hasn’t been an original film in a long time, its just that no one under a certain age watches classic films anymore. But this has always been true of films. I’m constantly reading stories that look like they inspired a particular movie. George Lucas literally ripped off every ounce of the Star Wars saga starting with John Carter of Mars. So to those that support this lawsuit give yourself a FAIL.

    • Cindy

      This case, and most or all such registered cases in determining erroneous; or otherwise copyright infringement, have nothing to do with story line, it has to do with plagiarism. Yes, many movies have the same story line, but don’t simply copy another writers story verbatim. There will not be enough changes you can make to get rid of the other writers signature writing style. The way we each write is just as telling as a fingerprint. You can have three writers work on a story alternating and a good writing analyst can tell you were one writers input ends and the other writers begins. Until the scripts have been analyzed we just will not know. And here is a tip for you young writers, Encode! Encode! Encode!, And Copyright! For rock solid protection.
      Check it out, I have encoded on the first line of this comment my name. The first letter of the second, forth , sixth, eighth, tenth, and twelfth words, spells: C. Marie; not my best work but just to demonstrate. Encode every where young writers, It can save you.

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