CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CN) – Bradley Blakeman, a former member of the Bush administration, claims the movie “Swing Vote” is based on a copyrighted treatment he gave to actor Kelsey Grammer, who passed it along to Disney’s Touchstone Pictures without his knowledge or permission.
Blakeman sued for copyright infringement in Federal Court, claiming the newly released “Swing Vote” – a comedy about an incumbent president and his challenger vying for the deciding vote of a man named Bud Johnson – is so similar to his “Go November” treatment that it “can only be explained as a deliberate copying on the part of the defendants.”
Blakeman’s script allegedly features a “down-to-the-wire” presidential election that hinges on swing voters.
The plaintiff claims he pitched the idea to Grammer in 2006, and the “Frasier” star agreed to develop the movie and play the incumbent Republic president.
Instead, Grammer allegedly pitched the idea to Touchstone and Treehouse Films, and was cast as the incumbent president in “Swing Vote.”
Blakeman is a former deputy assistant to President Bush and is a regular political commentator for Fox News, MSNBC and others. He also played a prominent role in the 2008 HBO movie “Recount.”
He seeks a declaration that “Swing Vote” infringes on “Go November” and an injunction barring the defendants from exploiting Blakeman’s work. He also demands proper credit, along with actual and punitive damages. He is represented by Todd Rubenstein of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Greenberg, Formato & Einiger LLP.