In time for Halloween, The Hollywood Reporter spoke to John Carpenter, the creator of the like-named Michael Myers slasher movie classic. During the conversation, the subject of a successful lawsuit against Luc Besson and sci-fi flick Lockout came up, along with the question of why that project was sued for plagiarizing Escape From New York, but no one ever went after Metal Gear Solid for borrowing a little from Snake Pliskin in the design of Iroquois “Solid Snake” Pliskin.
According to Carpenter, MGS avoid lawsuits because he likes creator Hideo Kojima.
On the Lockout suit, he explained…
Look, CanalPlus is the company that, with me, owns Escape From New York. They came to me and said, “Luc Besson ripped you off on Lockout.” Or Lockdown, whatever the hell that was. And they sent me the movie, and yes, he did. It’s the same story. (Laughs) I mean, you can’t do that, can you? You have to change a couple things. He’s after the president’s daughter? Come on. So I took him to French court.
The great thing is, I didn’t have to do anything, really. That’s the kind of the job I’ve always wanted — where you don’t have to show up, and something happens. And we won! But any great dreams of retiring wealthy were shattered because they didn’t give us as much money as CanalPlus wanted. They wanted to get Luc Besson. They didn’t like it. [CanalPlus sought €3 million in the lawsuit.]
And on Metal Gear…
[CanalPlus] wanted to also go after the video game Metal Gear Solid, which is kind of a rip-off of Escape From New York, too, but I told them not to do that. I know the director of those games, and he’s a nice guy, or at least he’s nice to me.