Dreamworks Sued for Ripping Off ‘Rear Window’

It appears that Dreamworks are being sued for ripping off the idea of Rear Window for the recent movie Disturbia starring Shia LaBeouf. We get the story thanks to our friends over at Cinematical:

“And now, not surprisingly, Dreamworks, its parent company Viacom and Universal Pictures, is being sued for creating an unauthorized remake.

The defendant in the case is not exactly related to Hitchcock’s film, though; the lawsuit was filed by Sheldon Abend Revocable Trust, which owns the rights to Cornell Woolrich’s original short story “It Had to Be Murder” (called “Murder from a Fixed Viewpoint” in the article), upon which Rear Window is based.

“What the defendants have been unwilling to do openly, legitimately and legally, (they) have done surreptitiously, by their back-door use of the ‘Rear Window’ story without paying compensation… In the Disturbia film the defendants purposefully employed immaterial variations or transparent rephrasing to produce essentially the same story as the Rear Window story.”

Rear Window is in my top 10 films of all time and my disgust when I saw Disturbia in the cinema was very high indeed. Basically it was just Rear Window for dummies, a modernization of a story that didn’t need to be so. If you wanna’ experience this story then go and bloody watch the original Rear Window (or in the studios case just re-release it in cinemas) instead of hashing out a modernized, gadget-filled piece of crap that’s only real merit was David Morse as the villain (which was down to him as an actor being awesome and not necessarily the film).

If this company had the rights to this story and Dreamworks did this story without acquiring what should be known as “rights to a remake” then they have every right to sue the hell out of them. I urge anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of seeing Rear Window to go and watch that and do not watch it’s modern-day, infinitely inferior remake that is Disturbia.