Judge Tosses Lawsuit Saying Idea Was Stolen for 2014 Thriller ‘Nightcrawler’

Entertainment
Dan Gilroy and John Gilroy attend cinema prive and PANDORA Jewelry host a special screening of "Nightcrawler" featuring Ketel One Vodka Cocktails on Dec. 15, 2014, in West Hollywood. (Credit: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for cinema prive)

Dan Gilroy and John Gilroy attend cinema prive and PANDORA Jewelry host a special screening of “Nightcrawler” featuring Ketel One Vodka Cocktails on Dec. 15, 2014, in West Hollywood. (Credit: Araya Diaz/Getty Images for cinema prive)

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A federal judge has tossed a lawsuit by a Utah filmmaker who claimed the makers of the movie “Nightcrawler” stole the idea from his movie about a freelance videographer selling footage of wrecks and homicides.

The Salt Lake Tribune reported Tuesday that U.S. District Judge Dee Benson ruled that no reasonable jury would find Richard Dutcher’s 2007 drama “Falling” substantially similar to the 2014 thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Benson’s ruling noted that Dutcher’s freelancer is a “generally moral character who demonstrates significant remorse for his stringer behaviors,” while Gyllenhaal’s videographer is a “generally amoral character who does not seem to feel remorse for his actions.”

Dutcher in 2015 sued Bold Films, Open Road Films, NBCUniversal Media and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

The screenplay for “Nightcrawler” received an Academy Award nomination.

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