Lawsuit for plagiarism against "The shape of water" and Guillermo del Toro are withdrawn

Los Angeles (USA), Apr 5 (EFE) .- Those responsible for the lawsuit for alleged plagiarism of the film "The shape of water" (2017), directed by Guillermo del Toro, withdrew their accusations and thus closed a legal process that has lasted just over two years.

The Hollywood Reporter magazine said on Monday that the complaint was withdrawn last Friday.

The Searchlight Pictures studio, the company behind "The Shape of Water," issued a statement today explaining its version of what happened.

"David Zindel, the son of the author of 'Let Me Hear You Whisper' (1969) Paul Zindel, admits, based on confidential information obtained during the litigation process, that his plagiarism claims are unfounded," Searchlight Pictures said.

"He admits that Guillermo del Toro is the true creator of" The Shape of Water. "Any similarity between the two works is accidental," he added.

Zindel's attorneys have not yet made a statement.

The Hollywood Reporter assured that "the parties in the litigation have reached an agreement to withdraw the case", while the portal The Wrap stated that "the plaintiff reached an agreement to voluntarily withdraw the case."


The origin of this lawsuit dates back to February 2018, when David Zindel, son of the late playwright Paul Zindel, claimed in a complaint that the similarities between his father's play "Let Me Hear You Whisper" and Guillermo del Toro were so big that the tape should be seen as an adaptation of that text.

The lawsuit was brought against Searchlight Pictures, Del Toro and associate producer Daniel Kraus for copyright infringement, now in the hands of the playwright's children.

The plot of Zindel's play revolves around the relationship established between an introverted caregiver who forms a strange friendship with a dolphin while working in a military laboratory during the Cold War.

In "The Shape of Water," written by Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, a mute cleaning woman becomes romantically involved with a marine creature in a military laboratory during the Cold War and sets off on a mission to free it and prevent its death. death.

This film was the great winner of the 2018 Oscars by taking four awards: best film, best director (Del Toro), best soundtrack and best production design.

The first setback for the lawsuit came in July 2018, when a federal judge in the United States rejected the complaint.

"In short, despite some superficial similarities and some shared script basics, the stories of the film and the play are different," Judge Percy Anderson wrote in that ruling.

However, an appeals court allowed the complaint to be resumed in June 2020 by ensuring that a mistake was made when dismissing the lawsuit for not giving the option to include the assessment of independent experts to determine the importance of the coincidences between both works.

"While both works were properly filed in the district court, the additional evidence, including expert testimony, would aid in the objective literary analysis necessary to determine the scope and qualitative significance of the similarities," the appeals court said.


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