Disney responds after being accused of ‘stealing ideas’ for ‘Zootopia’

'Total Recall' writer Gary Goldman claims he pitched his own 'Zootopia' project to Disney.

Disney has been accused of stealing ideas for its Oscar-winning animated film Zootopia.

Gary L. Goldman, the writer of Total Recall and executive producer of Minority Report, claims the 2016 blockbuster is “substantially similar” to a project he devised that was also called Zootopia.

Deadline reports that Goldman’s lawsuit alleges: “They copied Goldman’s themes, settings, plot, characters, and dialogue – some virtually verbatim. They copied Goldman’s title, Zootopia. They even copied Goldman’s character designs and artwork.”

After claiming that Goldman twice pitched his Zootopia project to Disney, the lawsuit continues: “Instead of lawfully acquiring Goldman’s work, Defendants said they were not interested in producing it and sent him on his way. Thereafter, consistent with their culture of unauthorized copying, Defendants copied Goldman’s work. They copied Goldman’s themes, settings, plot, characters, and dialogue — some virtually verbatim.”

Disney has since responded to the lawsuit in a statement, saying: “Mr. Goldman’s lawsuit is riddled with patently false allegations. It is an unprincipled attempt to lay claim to a successful film he didn’t create, and we will vigorously defend against it in court.”

Zootopia, which features the voices of Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba and Jenny Slate, was a major hit for Disney last year, grossing over $1.024 billion (£820 million) worldwide.