Utah filmmaker files lawsuit, says ‘Nightcrawler’ copies his work

Posted at 9:53 PM, Feb 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-20 23:53:43-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- An independent Utah filmmaker is suing a film company, claiming the company copied one of his films.

Richard Dutcher says the 2014 movie "Nightcrawler" by Bold Films, Open Road Films, and NBC Universal Media is substantially similar to his 2007 film “Falling.”

According to the synopsis on IMDB, "Falling" is about a Hollywood videographer who stumbles across a gang murder and makes a fortune selling the footage. The man's life becomes more chaotic as the gang looks for those involved. According to the synopsis for "Nightcrawler on IMDB, "When Lou Bloom, a driven man desperate for work, muscles into the world of L.A. crime journalism, he blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story."

Dutcher’s lawyer, Stephen Silverman, said the plot is the same with a couple of generic changes.

“The action takes place during the day and Richard`s movie, it take place at night,” he said.

Dutcher said he was struck by the similarities when he watched “Nightcrawler.”

“Within the first minute of the film I knew something was up, and then I just watched for 117 minutes as one thing after another, another similarity, another duplication,” he said.

Dutcher said it, “was like watching yourself be robbed in slow motion.”

The filmmaker said “Falling” is both his most personal and his favorite film. The filmmaker is known for “God’s Army.” He wrote, produced, directed and starred in the 2000 film.

FOX 13 News reached out to NBC Universal regarding the lawsuit, and a spokesperson said they have no comment.