Battle: Los Angeles and Skyline both promise a showdown between mankind and evil extra-terrestrials bent on destroying us -- but before that happens, it appears we have to deal with another conflict first -- a potential legal battle between the two projects.
Sony Pictures Entertainment has their gaggle of lawyers investigating legal action against Skyline filmmakers Greg and Colin Strause. The issue is that the Strause brothers own a special effects company named Hydraulx and they were hired to do visual effects work on Battle: Los Angeles -- and they forgot to mention they were working on their own alien invasion film at the same time.
While many are quick to view this as a "David Vs. Goliath" tale of two filmmakers being threatened by a giant corporation, things aren't so clear cut. As a Deadline article points out, the Strause brothers were hired for the Battle: Los Angeles job and considered for directorial duties -- meaning they had access to storyboards, the script, and all kinds of other goodies that they could have incorporated into their own film or used to enhance what they were doing. At best, there seems to be a definite conflict of interest thing happening here.
Of course, what seems to really have Sony up in arms is that Universal is set to release Skyline -- which garnered a lot of attention at Comic-Con -- on November 12th, several months ahead of Sony's much larger project. Sony could simply be rattling its legal saber to convince Skyline to shift to a later release date so as not to interfere with Battle: Los Angeles' debut.
Both sides were largely reluctant to speak on the issue, although a spokesman for the Strauses did offer this: "Any claims of impropriety are completely baseless. This is a blatant attempt by Sony to force these independent filmmakers to move a release date that has long been set by Universal and Relativity and is outside the filmmakers' control." While we don't know all the details yet, we do know the Strauses were involved with both projects and they overlapped. Does this sound "baseless" to you or does Sony have a legitimate complaint? Play Nancy Grace in the comments section below.