Attack of the Clonus

Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson may not be the only clones in The Island. Cult-film fans are buzzing that Michael Bay's blockbuster lifted its plot—human replicants unwittingly used as spare parts for the wealthy elite—wholesale from 1979's ultra-low-budget Parts: The Clonus Horror. Clonus director Robert S. Fiveson says his lawyer has contacted distributor Dreamworks, questioning whether credit should be given to the original. Fiveson, who currently executive produces documentaries for Discovery and National Geographic, says Dreamworks honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg considered Clonus as a possible pickup for Paramount in the '70s. "[Katzenberg] viewed my movie before it was released and said if I could make that for under a million dollars, he'd like to see what I could do with 10," he tells the Voice. Imdb.com lists The Island as a remake of Clonus, which was recently issued on DVD after achieving a certain infamy as fodder for the comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Director Bay—who has produced remakes of schlocky films like The Amityville Horror—is keeping mum, but a Dreamworks rep says, "The Island doesn't infringe on any copyrights and anyone who suggests that it does is incorrect and misinformed." Fiveson says he'll wait before taking any legal action until he actually sees the film, which hasn't been screened for him despite promises from Dreamworks. "If there's been a wrong done, I want it righted," he says. "If not, then they'll never hear from me again. Personally, I don't want anything, but at least I would like the investors of my movie to get their money back."

 
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