”Syriana’ script plagiarism denied


Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and production company Section Eight denied that the script of “Syriana,” the movie that earned George Clooney an Academy Award for best supporting actor, plagiarized a French playwright’s work.

The Paris-born author Stephanie Vergniault claims that at least 15 scenes in “Syriana” are copied from “Oversight,” a script she wrote between 1997 and 2002.

“The two works bear strictly no resemblance with each other,” Patrick Dunaud, a Latham & Watkins lawyer who represents the two U.S. companies, said at a Paris court hearing Monday. Vergniault sued the Time Warner Inc. unit and Section Eight, founded by Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh, in April. The playwright, who has lived in the Middle East for almost 10 years, is seeking two million euros ($2.6 million) in damages under a fast-track procedure. In a parallel, standard lawsuit, Vergniault is claiming 35 percent of the revenue generated by the movie.