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OFF BEAT: 'Book of Eli' authorship disputed by Georgia writer


LOS ANGELES—A Georgia-based writer has accused the directors and screenwriter of the 2010 dystopian hit “The Book of Eli” of stealing the idea for the movie from an unpublished work she submitted to a Writer’s Digest contest six years before the film’s release.

Author Bridgette Burgin claims that Writer’s Digest judges gave her work, entitled “The Final Call,” to screenwriter Gary Whitta, who used it as the basis for directors Allen and Albert Hughes’ movie “The Book of Eli,” according to her complaint filed in the U.S. Court for the Central District of California.

In her complaint, Ms. Burgin cites more than 50 similarities between her work and the movie.

She is seeking punitive and compensatory damages for harm to her “professional reputation and diminution of her intellectual property,” and for “adversely affecting her ability to obtain gainful employment in this field,” according to the court documents.

Ms. Burgin’s complaint also claims that she is entitled to impound and destroy all offending materials, should a judgment be rendered in her favor, but does not specify whether she would pursue such action.