Yet another lawsuit? Icelandic Nerds VS US Heroes. Updated with Astropia clip.

Contributor; Reykjavik, Iceland
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Yet another lawsuit? Icelandic Nerds VS US Heroes. Updated with Astropia clip.

*Update. A clip featuring the scene in question has now mysteriously appeared online and you can check it out after the jump* They say that copying or stealing someone's idea is a some sort of form of flattery but those on the receiving end of that argument usually don't feel flattered most of the time.
Now the TV show Heroes is one of the highest rated show on television and probably has its share of fine writers to come up with ideas but according to news that just hit over here in Iceland it seems that they snagged up the plot line from one of our highest grossing films and are using it in the story line for Hayden Panettiere's character Claire the cheerleader.
The producers of the festival favorite Astropia, which premiered in Iceland in 2007 and screened at last year's Fantastic Fest, got wind of this today when a clip showcasing a scene from the latest Heroes episode looked eerily like a scene from Astropia, so much so that the producers are thinking of suing NBC for plagiarism.
For those who have not seen Astropia it is about a young woman who has never worked a day in her life and is forced to get a job in a comic book store to make ends meet when her boyfriend is arrested for fraud. The Heroes scene in in question looks to be a direct lift of the scene from Astropia when the main character applies for the job at the comic book store.
The producers are less than flattered by this alleged copying because it could hinder their negotiations regarding a US remake that they are going through, especially when one of the most popular shows on TV featured the main story line.
Take a look at the Heroes clip and the Astropia scene after the break and tell me if they have a case or not.

Heroes clip

Astropia scene

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Andrew MackMarch 10, 2009 7:54 AM

Sadly I don't have a copy of the movie either... wink wink.

I REALLY want to say yes. It would be a stretch. The beauty of the scene out of Astropia is that the guys are just nerds and the scene is about nerd culture. This scene from Heroes is similar but doesn't play so much on that fish out of water theme that made Astropia so great to watch. This scene is about morality and heroism, almost preachy to the point where the writers are saying, 'HEY THIS IS HEROES IN CASE YOU DIDN"T GET IT THE FIRST TIME'. Bleh. Pompous.

They can try.

Rodney PerkinsMarch 10, 2009 8:12 AM

On the other hand, if you directly compare elements of the two scenes (i.e., blond girl who knows nothing about comics/role playing, comic book guy quizzing her in geek speak, nerds in the background perking up, layout of the shop), the similarities really start to pop out. I'd like to see the whole episode, though. Since its Heroes, I really only want to see the scenes in question.

avatartheMarch 10, 2009 9:01 AM

I just saw the scene in Heroes, and although it immediately brought Astropia to mind, I think you would have more of a case saying the first season of Heroes "stole" The ending of Watchmen than saying this one scene was stolen, it seemed more like an homage, and after watching the rest of the episode, I doubt Clare will be back in that shop.

heroeswatcherMarch 10, 2009 7:23 PM


I have seen a puny part of this Icelandic movie and it´s the worst Icelandic movie I´ve ever seen.
I cannot imagine any film as badly directed as this one but it´s also a comedy and a fantasy film.
The difference between this movie and Heroes season 3 episode 19 is as much as that between night and day.
Heroes deals with real life situations in a kind of alternative universe that´s very similar as our own , and for starters Claire Bennet is a cheerleader and the Astropia girl isn´t. Claire Bennet was raised by Noah who took care for the family and home but this girl had to take care for herself without any support from her family if I remember Astropia´s storyline correctly.
This is also about religion - the creators of Astropia feel they own the copyright to material in episode 19. Well episode 19 takes place in the United States and not Iceland and I do not know about any Icelandic TV show that includes a senator who can fly. At least Astropia isn´t a self - healer like Claire. There is also no Sylar in Astropia. Astropia is about events going on in this world that feature people who go into extensive periods of day dreaming , and the day dreaming sessions are made look like action that takes place in alternative universes where the rules of fantasy role playing apply , not those of Tim Kring.
And can people please stop attacking Tim Kring for his tireless effort to continue the production of Heroes? We only hate it when material is taken from or elsewhere that we feel should belong there. Now I write short stories about monsters taking place in the world of Weird Fiction , what good would it do to me if John Carpenter suddenly knocked up at my father´s home´s door to sue my ass for it because of In the Mouth of Madness? It´s the same bullshit - except that John Carpenter is smarter than the dudes who produced Astropia. Also , the person Claire Bennet fell in love with wasn´t a nerd , becase only a few of the comic book buyers were nerds or fitted the description of the concept of ´nerd´.
I was going to call one of those Astropia guys and ask him to tell the other guy to stop attacking Tim Kring and leave us Heroes Watchers alone and let us deal with how we regard Heroes , as that is between us , Tim Kring and the Heroes Producers. I envision a bright future for Heroes , but I wish if we Heroes fans could get together and form some kind of plan to donate to Heroes so they can get a bigger studio or maybe they´ve already moved into a bigger studio and we could do all kinds of other things for them to thank them for the series. The production team said there´re gonna be a few more seasons and let´s just allow them to complete producing them.
Otherwise I feel that Tim Kring should sue these geeks who think they own the copyrignt of material about events taking place in a movie in Iceland that don´t even relate to Heroes. Believe me anyone who hasn´t seen season 3 episode 19 yet , it´s not Astropia! Previously people who produced fantastic books and epics like Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker loved it when others produced tons of books on similar themes. If one person created a product based on the ideas of another and that product was sucessful this person became enormously popular and had a big circle of film directors and radio show hosts and others around themselves.
But today you can be a highly sucessful producer of a world famous TV show and you produce an episode that´s entirely unrelated to a movie produced a few years ago in the middle of no - time , and you get attacked for no reason because your attackers want to get money from you. It´s so stupid.
I may not have money right now to buy a Heroes collection but I will , and one thing is certain - if there is any DVD I ain´t gonna buy , it´s gonna be the DVD version of Astropia. Astropia´s producers should be ashamed and send Tim Kring a hand written , honest , decent apology. And they should walk out of the movie bussiness barefoot. And by the way - Astropia is a movie and Heroes is a TV series , and Astropa takes place in Iceland.
So technically nobody was violating anybody´s copyright.

manglrMarch 10, 2009 9:38 PM

I guess I don't quite see the lift. Obviously the content is similar...but it isn't a straight note for note copy of the original.

Speaking of, is there an English friendly DVD of this somewhere? I'd love to watch the original.

archeonMarch 11, 2009 12:28 AM

I don't see that they copied anything, other than both scenes take place in a comic book store... BUT I give the Icelandic film 2 points for mentioning Joan Wilder, Kathleen Turner's romance author character from Romancing the Stone.

Sean "The Butcher" SmithsonMarch 11, 2009 1:41 AM

The similarities are only surface. Lawsuit = no.

SwarezMarch 11, 2009 2:18 AM

Manglr. The Icelandic DVD is english friendly but where you can get it is a whole other matter. Currently there is no online store that caters to foreign film fans.

darostMarch 11, 2009 5:38 AM

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Thank you for giving so much free publicity to this small Icelandic film which was an audience favorite at Fantastic Fest when it played in Sept 2008 in Austin, Texas.

swampthingMarch 11, 2009 8:16 AM

I guess next the filmmakers are going to sue Dollhouse, Battlestar and every other TV series because you know it had guys and gals talking to each other.

BIG NEWSMarch 18, 2009 5:20 AM

What's really sad is that no one wants to deal with the fact that a hack like tim kring steals other writers and artists work to secure multi-million dollar deals and star status for himself and his friends.
This type of sick behavior is no different from what AIG, MADDOFF and all the other American thieves have done to the American people.

Imagine sitting in your office at NBC reading other un-signed writers work, ignoring their copyrights, lifting their creative content, putting your name on their creative content as yours, selling it to NBC because you have access to NBC executives because of Crossing Jordan and securing a large cash deal for yourself in the process.
sounds sweet right?
no talent required, just"Crossing Jordan" access.
that's what tim kring did with two NYC artists original work.
what tim kring stole is now in the toilet .
where is the mega- hit?
There is none.
Because real original talent is required.

Heroes is the most downloaded show because NBC has now admitted in the NYC Appellate court this month to access and copying those two NYC artists work.
Their known as The Twins.
NBC also admitted in this court that those artists characters like "the artist that can paint the future" were complex, copyrighted, original and fully developed.

From Case Number 08-0655 (L), 08-2280 (Con)
Enjai Eele and Amnau Eele vs NBC Universal inc..,NBC Universal Television Studio, Tailwind Productions, Tim Kring, Dennis Hammer,Allan Arkush, Jeph Loeb and Bryan Fuller in The United States Court Of Appeals For The Second Circuit Page 32 states:
"Defendants (NBC) do NOT dispute that Idai Markus "the artist that can paint the future" is a fully developed character in plaintiffs ( Enjai and Amnau Eele's) novel, and that the expression of his character( Idai Markus) is complex and original".
Guess what?
NBC is right TWITCH.
The artist that can paint the future on large canvas is original and was created by those NYC artists first.
No one on this blog can name the tv show, film, fiction -non-fiction book, comic book in the sci-fi genre or any genre of an artist that can paint the future.
Marvel-Dc comics has over 5000 super hero characters and not one of those Marvel-DC heroes can paint the future.
Just Ask Stan Lee.
That's why NBC bought Heroes and it's the reason she's holding on to the show despite the toilet ratings.
NBC is waiting to hear the NYC Appellate Court's decision on this lawsuit before they decide on the fate of Heroes.
Because the artist that can paint the future is a pioneer character and it's based on The Twins tribe's lineage and heritage called Luba Divination Art.
The Twins and their large paintings are part of the NY Historical society's archives and their tribe The Luba's divination art is part of the permanent collection of The Met Museum NYC.
That's where tim kring got "Usutu" the African artist that can paint the future story line from.
Google Divination art and you will see that there are many ways to predict the future but Painting the future is not on the list". You will see Tarot cards etc... but no painting the future.
It's a rare artform and that's why it's in major museums and that's why NBC want it.
Even after killing off Isaac, she dragged the storyline through the mud until the idea of an artist that can paint the future now turns the fans off.
tim kring should be depressed because he's stupid, the show sinked and now the court date in the NYC Appellate court is nearing.
Do your self a favor TWITCH, and check out all the recent info on this lawsuit in the NYC Appellate court and get the truth about Heroes.

name the tv show ,film, comic book, actor's name and year that played the artist that could paint the future on large canvas and that artist used that painting to stop a catastrophe from happening to two NYC landmark buildings before it happens?
You can't.
Idai Markus was the first and Isaac Mendez was the second.
Both characters even share the same initials, I. M.
tim kring is a thief.
he's a cheap version of a broke Bernard Madoff.
tim kring stole Heroes from those NYC artists and the show tanked right after Isaac Mendez was killed off.
do the math and connect the dots.
He should be drepressed because he's just a few minutes away from being exposed for the fraud he is.
All TWITCH bloggers should look up this lawsuit.
The Americans courts are corrupt and Madoff is the proof of this.
The judge in the lower NYC court ruled in favor of NBC and stated that the NYC artists lawsuit was absurd.
she also said that these artists work were free for the taking.
imagine, a judge issuing a motion that states "someone's copyrighted work is free for the taking."
Now, what is this judge in the lower court going to say now that NBC has admitted to copying and access to these artists work and that their work and characters were original, fully developed, copyrighted and complex in a higher court, the NY Appellate court?
So, the producers of the new movie "Knowing" with nicholas Cage took the judge's advice and used these artists work.
The NYC artists have a painting called The Atta Page which depicts the message that there are 9 letters in the word Manhattan and 11 letters in the name Mohamed Atta .
The name ATTA is in the word ManhATTAn and when the world looks at the word ManhATTAn , the world will always remember the name ATTA and what ATTA did to Manh-Atta-n on September 11, 2001 . The painting also depicts two planes crashing into the twin towers in NYC and a message "Aman named Atta will attack twin towers on September 11, 2001 at 9:00am"..copyright the Twins 2001

Now, go see Mr. Cage's new movie "Knowing" and you be the judge.

None of this is talent, creative or funny.
It's stealing, it's wrong and it hurts the industry and the integrity of the industry.
the fans lose in the end, just ask all the Heroes fans.