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30 October 2011

Expendables 2 stuntman killed in Bulgaria; Follows Australian stunt Hangover in Bangkok, by Greg Tingle - 30th October 2011

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A fatal accident on the set of the action star-packed action sequel "The Expendables 2" killed one stuntman and left another seriously injured Thursday night, stirring the industry memories of Australian stunty Scott McLean going into a coma last November while doing 'The Hangover Part II' near Bangkok, Thailand.

The Expendables 2 accident occurred while shooting at the Ognyanovo reservoir in Bulgaria at about 7 p.m., when an explosion went off. The injured stunty is now reportedly in stable condition.

"It is with great regret that we confirm this unfortunate accident," a representative for the film's studio, Nu Image/Millennium Films, said in a statement "Our hearts go out to the families and those on the production affected by this tragedy. The filmmakers are working closely with the authorities in responding to and investigating this accident."

The identities of the killed and injured stuntmen have not yet been released.

The film's stars, which include Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris, were not present during the accident.

This is the most recent tragic accident to occur on an overseas film set.

The accident on the set of 'The Hangover Part II in Thailand saw an oncoming car slid into a truck. Wet weather that left the roads slick was believed to have played a significant part in the accident.

Australia's Media Man agency who has managed and worked with stuntmen and actors such as Colin Handley, John 'Vulcan' Seru and Paul 'Maxx-G' Bennett quizzed some of their talent on the dangers of working in stunts.

Handley, who also runs Australian Stunt Academy and has worked with Stallone and Schwarzenegger offered "Safety is our main priority".

Seru, also a professional wrestler and gym owner / operator of 'Gladiators' and 'James Bond' fame said "Working as a stunt man or as a pro wrestler is extremely dangerous. Injuries occur more often that people realise".

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Stallone copied work for "The Expendables" - lawsuit - 25th October 2011

Action movie star Sylvester Stallone is accused in a lawsuit of copying another writer's screenplay to make "The Expendables," a movie about mercenaries hired to defeat a military dictator.

The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday by writer Marcus Webb, who said the screenplay for "The Expendables" is "strikingly similar and in some places identical" to his work entitled "The Cordoba Caper."

Webb seeks unspecified damages for copyright infringement and an order from the court stopping further infringement in any sequel by Stallone, his credited co-author David Callaham, Millennium Films, its Nu Image Films unit and Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation .

Stallone's publicist, Michelle Bega, declined to comment.

Millennium Films' general counsel, Frank DeMartini, said the company had not been served with the lawsuit, and he declined further comment. A spokeswoman for Lions Gate was not immediately available for comment.

"The Expendables" -- produced by Millennium and Nu Image and distributed by Lions Gate -- was released worldwide on Aug. 13, 2010. It featured a cameo appearance by Arnold Schwarzenegger after he left his post as California governor, along with other aging action heroes Stallone and Jet Li.

According to the lawsuit, Webb registered "The Cordoba Caper" screenplay and a short story with the same title and plot with the U.S. Copyright Office in June 2006. Between 2006 and 2009, the lawsuit said, the screenplay was made widely available by Webb for consideration in the movie industry.

"There can be no dispute that Stallone and/or Callaham had access to and copied protectable elements of the screenplay," the lawsuit said.

"The Cordoba Caper" tells the story of a team of elite, highly-trained mercenaries hired to defeat General Garza, a rogue army general of a small Latin American country," the lawsuit said.

The court document provides details of the ways in which Webb sees similarities between his screenplay and the released movie, including the opening "with a hostage rescue at sea, off a foreign coast, which has nothing to do with the main plot."

It said the main villain in both is a General Garza, a military dictator with a notorious human rights record.

Webb said he has been deprived of benefits from the screenplay such as potential earnings from the production, distribution and performance of "The Expendables."

"Expendables 2," a sequel to "The Expendables," is due for release on Aug. 17, 2012.

The case is Marcus Webb v Sylvester Stallone, et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-7517.

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