M. Night Shyamalan accused of copying 2013 thriller in plagiarism lawsuit

Director Francesca Gregorini says Apple and Shyamalan plagiarised her 2013 film 'The Truth About Emanuel' on the recent 'Servant'.

The Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan has been accused of plagiarism in a new lawsuit, it’s been reported.

The director’s recent TV series Servant, a horror show created for Apple TV+, is the subject of a new lawsuit by Italian-American director Francesca Gregorini. Gregorini believes that Servant copied her 2013 thriller The Truth About Emanuel, as Deadline reports.

“Having a very personal labour of love stolen, which is what this case is about, is soul-crushing,” Gregorini said of the situation in a press release.

Advertisement

According to Deadline, Gregorini’s lawyer David Erikson called the similarities between the two pieces “so pervasive and so grounded in my client’s highly creative and uniquely personal artistic choices, that the idea they might have resulted from coincidence is preposterous.”

Servant and The Truth About Emanuel both revolve around a grieving mother who has just lost her baby and ends up believing that a realistic baby doll is alive, and she begins to form a bond with the doll.

Both works then see the mother recruiting a teenage nanny to help her care for the doll, believing it was alive.

Servant debuted on Apple TV+ last November. The psychological thriller stars Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), Toby Kebbell (Kong: Skull Island), Nell Tiger Free (Game of Thrones) and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter).
“We’ve all grown up with 30-minute situation comedies, the sitcom; this is a sit-thriller,” the director said of the show.
“With television, you can have a different trajectory of movement [than a longer film]; because you’re going for 30 minutes, you gobble them up. There’s no fat on the bone.”
Advertisement
Advertisement