Writer says 'Wedding Crashers' copies his party-crashing guidebook

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Writer says 'Wedding Crashers' copies his party-crashing guidebook

Tue Jul 14, 2009 @ 11:43AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

WeddingCrashers If we had to write a guidebook for party crashers, one of our first rules would be to make sure you show up on time for the party. The second might be to coordinate with all the other party crashers.

We haven't written such a guidebook, but Neil Portman says he has. The Los Angeles native says he met with executives at New Line Cinema, came to an agreement over a motion picture project on party crashing, and submitted something called "The Party Crashers Handbook" as a treatment for a movie.

Now Portman is suing New Line in LA Superior Court, claiming the studio stole his ideas to make the hit 2005 film "Wedding Crashers." Yes, the hit film that came out four years ago. Better late to the party than not to show up.

Here's where it gets strange.

A couple years ago, a different individual, Rex Reginald, also sued New Line, claiming he pitched his unpublished work "The Party Crasher's Handbook" to United Talent Agency and New Line chief Bob Shaye. Reginald was unsuccessful in his lawsuit and also lost at the 2nd District Court of Appeal, where there was found to be no substantial similarity between the plaintiff's concept and "Wedding Crashers."

How many more party crashing experts will try their hand at crashing New Line's profits on this movie?

Here's Portman's complaint.

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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 Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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