It appears the story behind HBO’s hit show is up for debate.
Although Stephen Levinson created Ballers, screenwriters Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton claim to have pitched a very similar idea, titled Off Season, to Mark Wahlberg in 2009 and now they wanna get paid for their idea. And it’s not just Levinson and Wahlberg on trial, the show’s star Dwayne Johnson is an executive producer and would pay if they were to lose.
The LA Times acquired the recently amended complaint explaining their case and the dollar amount Silas and Littleton want in damages: $200 million.
Okay, let’s pause and pause consider that amount for moment…
Silas and Littleton made a list of 27 specific instances in which Ballers apparently looks like their show Off Season.
“The stories, character traits, scenes, and incidents portrayed in the two works, ‘Ballers’ and ‘Off Season,’ are, in many respects, virtually identical and strikingly similar. These substantially similar elements, coupled with the Defendants’ direct access to the Materials, leaves little doubt that numerous elements of ‘Ballers’ were copied from ‘Off Season,'” the complaint states.
However, the folks at HBO don’t sound concerned. Back in December, when the lawsuit was first filed, an HBO spokesperson told Deadline the case “has no merit.”