Novelist alleges ‘Heroes’ rip-off

Last Updated: May 21, 2010, 12:33 PM IST

Los Angeles: Jazan Wild, the creator of ‘Carnival of Souls’, is suing NBC Universal for using his popular graphic novel as the basis for the fourth season of NBC`s ‘Heroes.’

The author and Carnival Comics owner (real name: Jason Barnes) claims the network "knowingly, wilfully, recklessly and maliciously infringed" on his copyright by introducing a travelling carnival "virtually identical" to the ones depicted in his successful three-instalment digital book series.

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, lists similarities including a carnival that can magically appear and disappear to collect protagonists, a young boy who develops special abilities, a carney or hero running through the woods chased by a mob, a circle of mirrors tied to the key plot, similarities in dialogue, and more.

"Indeed, some of the scenes in `Heroes` appear as if the books were used as storyboards by the defendants," reads the complaint.

Wild also claims that the ending of season four was changed in an attempt to minimize too obvious similarities.

Wild wants more than USD 50 million in damages and an injunction against further distribution of season four of ‘Heroes’ as a result of the alleged infringement. The show has recently been cancelled, so at very least, NBC has no worries about being sued over a fifth season.

An NBC spokesperson said: "We believe this lawsuit is merit less and expect to prevail in the litigation."

Bureau Report

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