Holy plagiarism, Batman!
Hollywood’s latest swing at “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader, is little more than a literary heist by Warner Brothers, a comic book illustrator and writer claims in a lawsuit.
Christopher Wozniak argues the plot of the smash-hit 2022 film is a near carbon copy of a 1990 Batman story he wrote — “The Ultimate Riddle” later retitled “The Blind Man’s Hat.”
The poached plot follows a murderous Riddler who terrorizes a “broken” Gotham City rife with cop corruption and controlled by a criminal banking cartel, the suit states.
Wozniak claims entire scenes from the fantasy flick, which featured Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman and Paul Dano as the Riddler, were lifted from the story.
One swiped scene shows Batman butler Alfred firebombed by the arch villain, and the caped crusader learning of the explosion over the phone – after it’s too late.
“This scene is copied from an original expression in the Copyrighted Work,” the Manhattan federal court suit states.
Another lifted line is the “big reveal” of the Riddler, a series of riddles left by the madman that combine into a cypher, showing he knows Bruce Wayne is the Batman.
Wozniak, whose work has been published by DC and Marvel, sent the sadistic story to DC at least three times since he wrote it, the suit states.
In 2008, he passed it along to film producer Michael Uslan after meeting him at New York Comic Con earlier that year, according to the suit.
“There are so many original expressions from my client’s story found in the defendant’s movie that we believe this is clear case of copyright infringement. The similarities are just too uncanny to be accidental,” Wozniak’s attorney, R. Terry Parker, said in a statement.
Wozniak is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.
A rep for Warner Brothers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.