You’ve got all sorts of license changes going on between regions there.
I think my favorite (just based on absurdity, I’ve never played any of the games) is the one that started as Mickey Mouse 4 in Japan, then became a Ghostbusters game in America, and a Garfield game in Europe. Dang.
So, let me get this straight. Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights is a screenplay that Peter Sagal wrote that has NOTHING to do with the original Dirty Dancing movie, but somebody used the script as the basis for the movie ANYWAY at some point, but when the movie was released, not a single line from Sagal’s script had survived? It’s not a budgie job, since no trace of the original remains, and as I recall the movie has precious little to do with the original Dirty Dancing – nothing has been converted to anything, there’s no there there. It’s not even a case of In Name Only, since the movie is not an example of something ELSE being marketed under an “established” name. I bet there’s a trope for this, but I have no idea what it might be. I do have a great candidate for a name for the trope: No There There.
And Alan Dean Foster’s Midworld. Midworld even has a Home Tree! And trees that hold the minds of the dead that are hooked up to the planetary overmind, and which are threatened by exploitative outworlders. And an overriding color scheme; green instead of blue. It even has primitive 4 limbed sympathetic humanoids (well, actual humans more-or-less) on a planet where 6 limbs are more common. Avatar isn’t an outright copy, but there’s almost no way Cameron wasn’t heavily inspired by it.
And speaking of Deathworld, I can’t recall the name but there’s a Warhammer40k novel that includes a world that fans tell me is essentially a copy of Pyrrus.
It would be perfect, except that there was no “recreation of an existing ship/movie” involved, there were just a bunch of drunken hollywood types babbling and scrawling things on cocktail napkins. Whatever Dirty Dancing 2 is, it clearly did not follow any plan, just kind of meandered on until something resembling a movie occurred.
Marshal Law is a surprisingly deep and surprisingly good comic book series. Without spoiling things- In the not too distant future the US gets involved in a war in the Amazon. US scientist have figured out how to give soldiers superpowers. The US wins the war. The problem is that most of the super soldiers come back with PTSD and other problems. A large percentage of them are committing crimes. Marshal Law is given the job of hunting down these folks and jailing or killing them.
It is magnitudes better than it sounds.
Marshal Law did a crossover with Hellraiser. Marshal Law did a crossover with The Mask (sadly I only own the first issue of that one). A crossover with Aliens was promised.
But those issues include slightly modified so as not to infringe a trademark Aliens. No one calls them “aliens” or uses the term “xenoform archersonsis”. They call the extraterrestrials in question “The Incubus”. It looks like they got the rights to do a crossover, then lost them after the work was already done. Rather than waste it, they released the issues with minor changes.
I remember hearing that POTC: On Stranger Tides (not yet under that title) was written without any knowledge of the Powers book, but that someone eventually pointed out there were enough similar elements that Disney would be wise to just buy the screen rights to the book.
I think a real film version of the book On Stranger Tides was probably a lost cause even after the first POTC movie. Any pirate movie with zombies likely would have been seen as cashing in on the success of POTC, but since the plots of both involve a pirate hero named Jack and a young woman named Elizabeth who’s been kidnapped by zombie pirates so that her blood can be spilled as part of a magical ritual, I’m pretty sure any reasonably faithful On Stranger Tides adaptation would have seemed like a POTC knock-off…even though the book On Stranger Tides had been published years before.
Well that is the Official Story, I don’t know that I believe it, though. On Stranger Tides was written years before the first POTC movie came out, and having read it, I was struck by how similar POTC was to Stranger Tides, and I was certain that the movie’s scriptwriter had used In Stranger Tides as inspiration for the movie. I did not think they were in plagiarism suit territory … if it had been a piece of fanfic, I’d say they’d done an adequate job of filing the serial numbers off.
Clearly the writers were exhausted of new ideas by the time they came to POTC IV, and they did a straight-out copy of Powers’ book, and at that point they realized they were gonna have to pay off Powers or face a nasty lawsuit, so they did, and I’m glad they did.
Powers himself claims that his book was inspired by his experience of riding the Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride, so he was OK with the movies. I don’t believe him. I think he was OK with the money.
I also first read the book after having seen the POTC I, and was struck by how close many of the story elements were. Adding zombies to a pirate story is a fairly obvious idea (both are associated with the Caribbean), and Jack and Elizabeth are both period-appropriate names that are still common today so it’s not that surprising that these would be used as the names of the hero and heroine in both works, but the whole kidnapped-by-zombie-pirates-so-blood-can-be-spilled-in-magic-ritual thing was pretty striking even if the purpose of the ritual was different.
I actually didn’t think POTC IV bore much resemblance to On Stranger Tides; the biggest similarity is that both have Blackbeard as the villain and the plot involves the search for the Fountain of Youth, but that’s the sort of thing multiple authors might come up with independently. A lot of other elements in POTC IV have nothing to do with the book (e.g. that business with the mermaids, having the female lead be a pirate) or are only similar in a very general way (e.g. father of the female lead is a villain who is using her for his own ends). IMHO the plot of POTC I was much closer to that of the book On Stranger Tides, although as you say there are enough differences to make it an original work and not a total rip-off. But I think that the first and fourth movies taken together have so much in common with On Stranger Tides that Powers would have had a pretty good case had Disney not bought the rights to his book.
I could easily believe that the Disney ride gave him the spark of an idea for his book AND that he liked getting a big fat check.
There seems to be an odd circular sort of relationship between the POTC ride, the book On Stranger Tides, the Monkey Island series of computer games, and the POTC movies. Both Powers and Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert have claimed that their work was inspired in part by the POTC ride, and the POTC movies were also obviously inspired by the ride. Gilbert has also cited the book On Stranger Tides as an influence. Many viewers have noted that the POTC movies resemble both On Stranger Tides and Monkey Island in ways that don’t seem to be related to the original ride, and then Disney of course bought the rights to On Stranger Tides and named the fourth POTC movie after it.
I have a personal theory about what happened when the move Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides was made. I don’t have any real proof of this, but something odd certainly went on:
The official story is that the producers of the films discovered the Tim Powers novel while making the second and third movie and decided that it would make a good plot for a fourth movie in the series. In fact, when the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out, a lot of people noted that its plot was similar to a series of video games from LucasArts called the Monkey Island games. The first game in this series came out in 1990. The creator of the game has said publicly that he was inspired by the novel On Stranger Tides (and a little bit by the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland). After several games in this series sold well, the people at LucasArts decided to make a movie from it and hired a screenwriter named Ted Elliot. They spent some time preparing to make this film from that script, but eventually they decided not to do the movie. It was only a few years later that the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out. Ted Elliot is one of the credited screenwriters for it.
I suspect that what then happened was that representatives for LucasArts and for Tim Powers went to Disney and said that they had a clear case of copyright infringement. Disney then made an offer to compensate them if they would remain silent about what happened. Disney agreed that the fourth movie in the series would be called Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and would incorporate some plot points from the novel. Powers would thus get royalty money, his name in the credits, and his title on the movie. LucasArts (and the creators of the game) would also get royalty money. Everybody decide that it would be best to take the money and keep their mouths shut.
I know it’s been a while, but I thought of another couple of examples, both of them (as in my earlier post about The Haunted Palace) starring Vincent Price. (With TCM running quite a few Price movies over Halloween, they were brought back into my consciousness.)
Price did two compilation movies, Tales of Terror which (loosely) adapted three Poe stories into three different segments, and Twice-Told Tales which did two Hawthorne stories and a novel with equal looseness.
In Tales of Terror, there’s a segment named “The Black Cat,” with Price and Peter Lorre. However, it’s really a mash-up of Poe’s stories “The Black Cat” and “The Cask of Amontillado”!
Twice-Told Tales has three in-name-only adaptations of Hawthorne stories, but the most interesting is the last one, “House of the Seven Gables.” It takes Hawthorne’s novel of “the sins of the fathers” and turns it into a standard haunted-house story. But the most interesting part of it all is: years before, Price had starred in a far more faithful (with some alterations) film adaptation of the novel!
? I need to actually watch Avatar then. I thought Avatar was about some corporate bunch or government bunch in a space station above a planet that they wanted to rape and sending people down in robots to interact with the natives.
Best of my knowledge [it has been probably 3 or 4 years since I last read Death World] it was about a gambler who goes to a planet with the intention of helping them solve the problem about why the entire planet wants to kill off the settlers. It turns out that the plants and animals keep instantly evolving to hate the settlers because the settlers hate them - the plants and animals are more or less psychic. The group that broke away and are considered tree hugger traitors don’t hate the planet and the plants and animals pretty much ignore them. [book 1 of 3] The 3 books all have the same people cast but different planets. The series continues with 2 more books, but last I heard the last collection is not published in the US - I have a copy as a gift from one of my Russian gaming buddies who got a samizdat copy in english for me.
Now there is a book with something of the plot of spacecraft of humans with a robotic presence on the planet, can’t remember the author or title I will have to ask mrAru which one it is. Something published in the mid 80s as I remember.
Showing that the plot of Avatar was stolen from some particular work is a favorite game in some circles. The problem is that it stole ideas from everywhere. There are similarities to Death World, just as there are similarities to many other books and movies.
Die Hard With A Vengeance was originally a non-John McLean script called Simon Says; it was turned into DHWAV because they wanted to make another Die Hard movie and it’s easier to adapt a good script than write a new one.
Right, having contributed to the topic, I can now say the following:
The expression used in the Monty Python sketch, and in British English is *bodge *job. Sounds like budgie, said near a pet bird - but no-one until now has ever referred to a budgie job.