Fox has responded to a lawsuit by Russian screenwriter Mikhail Raskhodnikov accusing the studio of plagiarizing his script in the upcoming sci-fi film The Martian.
“This suit is completely without merit and we will vigorously defend against these baseless claims,” a Fox spokesperson told EW in a statement.
Earlier today, The Hollywood Reporter noted that Raskhodnikov’s lawyer Shota Gorgadze told the Russian radio station Vesti his client wrote a screenplay in 2008 titled Marsianin (The Martian); it was subsequently submitted to Russian and international studios.
Raskhodnikov believes that Fox obtained his script through its Russian office and lifted elements for The Martian, which was directed by Ridley Scott. Scott’s film is based on Andy Weir’s 2011 novel of the same name about an American astronaut (played by Matt Damon) stranded on the red planet.
Raskhodnikov is asking for 50 million rubles (approximately $760,000) in Russian court. The suit is to be considered next month.
The Martian opens Oct. 2 in the U.S. and Oct. 8 in Russia. Watch the trailer above.