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Is "Knocked Up" a Knockoff?

6/6/2007 3:34 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Knocked UpA Canadian author is suing Universal Pictures and director Judd Apatow (who directed "40-Year-Old Virgin"), alleging that the story for the hit movie "Knocked Up" was taken directly from her book of the same name.

Rebecca Eckler claims that she shopped around her 2004 book to be made into a movie. In the middle of the process, she learned of the Apatow project. The script that was making the rounds, she alleges, had a picture of a martini glass with a pacifier around the stem -- the same as on the cover of her book.

Eckler, who told her tale in this month's Maclean's magazine, cites other similarities -- including the fact that the Katherine Heigl character is an up-and-coming television reporter, and the main character in Eckler's book is an up-and-coming newspaper reporter. She also says that the movie and book have a secondary female character in common -- the person that both main characters go to for advice -- and that both of the secondary characters have screaming children.

The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in January, alleging copyright infringement and seeking unspecified damages.

Judd Apatow, through his reps, released this statement: "The book 'Knocked Up' is very different than the film 'Knocked Up.' The book is about a woman who gets pregnant by the fiance that she loves on the night of her engagement party. The film is a very different story; the film is about a one-night stand between a pot smoking slacker and an ambitious young woman that leads to a pregnancy and their attempts to get to know each other. Anyone who reads the book and sees the movie will instantly know that they are two very different stories about a common experience."

Universal Pictures had no comment.

28 COMMENTS

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1.

catheadmoon    

hoff is served warm, outside the u.s

2506 days ago
2.

Jaded    

BS!

2506 days ago
3.

blackberry_curve@yahoo.com    

I'm Canadian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's a rip off. :-)

2506 days ago
4.

Brock Landers    

I wasn't a huge fan of the movie. I think Superbad is going to be incredible though.

2506 days ago
5.

Terry    

They both ripped off......

Fools Rush In (1997) With Matthew Perry & Salma Hayek

And I'm sure we can go back and find many Movies Fools borrowed from also, The basic story line is not new!

2506 days ago
6.

Steve    

I'm sure the movie was a zillion times better that book. Get over it already lady. If someone wanted your story in 2004, they would have taken it.

2506 days ago
7.

duke    

Can't stand Katherine Heigl, wouldn't watch anything she is in.

2506 days ago
8.

godless    

IT makes no difference how the woman gets knocked up, the slient point is that the two stories are the same.

Sue the hell out of the bastards, and I'm not even Canadian.

2506 days ago
9.

Mike B.    

If you were to believe Rebecca Eckler, she is the first woman in history to become pregnant. Her work is an insult to credible journalists everywhere and how she manages to stay employed is beyond me. She is a discredit to the National Post and a constant source of mockery for the paper.
As for the lawsuit, her book shares the same name as Apatow and Rogen's screenplay and that's about it (although, Eckler is probably convinced that her genius came up with the phrase "knocked up"). Eckler was "knocked up" at her engagement party to her million dollar lawyer fiance, a far cry from a one night stand with an unemployed loser. Aside from the fact that both her and Alison, the film's protagonist, are both professional women, the similarities between the 2 are few and far between. Enjoy the lawsuit though, Rebecca. That should provide you with a couple of years worth of insipid columns.

2506 days ago
10.

Jon Bodack    

I haven't seen the movie yet, but from the previews, it looks good!

2506 days ago
11.

sarah    

hilarious movie!

2506 days ago
12.

stormy    

I believe she was ripped off as the screenplays often bear little resemblance to the book even when they actually BUY the rights to the book!

2506 days ago
13.

Light    

I've read the book but have not seen the movie, I don't think they have anything in common besides it is a girl getting pregnant. Maybe I will go pay to see this crappy movie and confirm that it was just as horrible as the book though.

2506 days ago
14.

NO SHIT SHERLOCK    


Anyone who co - wrote/directed a movie called 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN can't be confused for an original thinker. Sorry Apitow, but you're a hoax, give it up asshole

2506 days ago
15.

no pervs allowed    

start your own street corner business. be your own boss. contact workin mom's wesite

2506 days ago
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