Ex-Hells Angel claims FX stole 'Sons of Anarchy'

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Ex-Hells Angel claims FX stole 'Sons of Anarchy'

Tue Jun 15, 2010 @ 06:48PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Zito,chuck One mean-looking biker dude has just picked a $5 million fight with FX.

Chuck Zito, who describes himself as the former leader of the New York City Hells Angel chapter and a "radio, television and film personality" (we're not going to argue with him), filed a breach of implied contract lawsuit today claiming that the hit FX drama "Sons of Anarchy" was based on his ideas.

Here's the complaint.

Zito says he developed a show called "Nomads" (later "The Wild Angels") and had Broder (now ICM) agent Ted Chervin set up a pitch meeting with FX's John Landgraf and Nick Grad in 2004, during which Zito disclosed his ideas for a show about a renegade motorcycle club. FX passed but in 2006 began developing "Sons of Anarchy" with Kurt Sutter. Sutter, who is alleged to have had no previous knowledge of bikers, did have a relationship with FX, where he executive produced "The Shield." And he apparently also had Chervin as his agent (UPDATE: Chervin wasn't Sutter's agent but ICM ultimately packaged the show, according to the lawsuit).

"FX was obligated to pay Zito the reasonable value of his ideas, hire him to work on the series and afford him screen credit as creator," says the lawsuit, filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court. "Defendants breached an implied-in-fact contract with defendant."

Zito wants $5 million in damages. FX didn't respond to a request for comment. The suit was filed by attorney Glen Kulik of Kulik Gottesman Mouton & Siegel.

UPDATE: Sutter has posted a pretty awesome response to the lawsuit called "Douchebaggery is the Greatest Form of Flattery....Again." It's here. An excerpt:  

  • So here's my bi-monthly reminder to every delusional bitch who thinks that they've come up with the idea for SOA -- HAVING THE FUCKING IDEA IS NOT THE SHOW.  THERE HAVE BEEN DOZENS OF OUTLAW MOTORCYCLE TV DRAMAS PITCHED IN THE LAST TEN YEARS.  NONE OF THEM HAS MADE IT TO SERIES, EXCEPT SOA.  BECAUSE THEY SUCKED.   The same way there were dozens of mob family pitches before the Sopranos and crime scene pitches before CSI.

UPDATED POST

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]


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