The plot of Swing Vote, the new political satire, starring Kevin Costner and Kelsey Grammer, about a lazy dad from New Mexico whose unintentionally-cast ballot ends up being the presidential election’s deciding vote, was stolen, a former Bush aide is claiming.
The Associated Press is reporting that Bradley Blakeman, a political commentator and one-time deputy-assistant to president Bush, has filed a lawsuit claiming that, in 2006, he gave Mr. Grammer a copyrighted screenplay called Go November, and that Mr. Grammer had agreed not only to develop the project, but also to star in the film as an incumbent Republican president, similar to the role he plays in Swing Vote. Mr. Grammer’s spokesman has dismissed the claims as “frivolous.”
According to the AP:
The lawsuit claims Blakeman’s screenplay shared a basic premise with Swing Vote, although it focused on an election hinging on multiple swing voters instead of one swing voter.
Blakeman claims Swing Vote incorporated other elements that he proposed, including: the timing of the film’s release, the use of real-life newscasters as actors playing themselves, the use of dirty tricks by both major political parties, marketing strategies and other plot points.
“Essentially, except for the character names and the relationship developed between the main characters played by defendant Kevin Costner and his daughter, the entire concept of Swing Vote … was taken from the copyrighted work,” Blakeman’s lawsuit claims.
Meanwhile, Swing Vote, which came out on Aug. 1, is supposed to be pretty good! Last week, The Observer’s Rex Reed wrote:
Say about it what you will, but in an election year, you can’t accuse Kevin Costner’s political satire Swing Vote of failing to keep up with current events. With an eye on the box office coffers and a finger on the nation’s nervous pulse, this romp with a conscience, directed by Joshua Michael Stern, who co-wrote the edgy screenplay (with Jason Richman), features the new scruffy, self-deprecating and slightly graying Mr. Costner dispensing oodles of paunchy charm as the unlikeliest American voter who ever turned cynical indifference into civic pride and a nation upside down … Does this election hurt? Only when we laugh.