According to Variety, screenwriter Larry Cohen (Phone Booth) and producer Martin Poll (The Lion In Winter) are suing Fox Entertainment for $100 million, claiming that a script written in 1992 by Cohen and developed by Poll was the real source for Fox's League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Fox stoutly maintains that its film was based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore. Cohen's script, which was entitled 'Cast Of Characters,' centered on a fictional struggle that pitted Alan Quatermain and Sherlock Holmes against James Moriarty and Dorian Gray. Cohen and Poll cite numerous similarities between their script and the LOEG, including the fact that both include the same nine fictional characters: Alan Quatermain, Dorian Gray, James Moriarty, Tom Sawyer, Jack the Ripper, Dr. Jekyll, the Phantom, Dr. Frankenstein, and Huck Finn. Fox maintains that its movie 'is based directly on the graphic novel by Alan Moore.' DC's trade paperback has sold well this year, despite the film's problems (see 'Interview with DC's Paul Levitz').
Although League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen earned only $65 million in U.S. theaters, foreign sales and DVD revenues could easily triple that figure. Given the lukewarm response of many critics to the film and the current lawsuit, Fox may well wish that it had stayed closer to the plot of Moore's graphic novel and that it had not introduced the 'American' characters such as Tom Sawyer, who did not appear in Alan Moore's graphic novel.