Joss Whedon Sued The 'Avengers' Director Jacked My 'Cabin in the Woods'

4/14/2015 3:32 PM PDT

Joss Whedon Sued -- 'Avengers' Director Jacked My 'Cabin in the Woods'

EXCLUSIVE

Joss Whedon, current king of the Marvel universe, is being sued for allegedly stealing the idea for the cult horror smash, "The Cabin in the Woods."

Whedon and "Cabin" co-writer/director Drew Goddard are being sued by a guy named Peter Gallagher (not "The O.C." guy with the eyebrows) who claims he registered a book with the Writers Guild called "The Little White Trip: A Night in the Pines."

Gallagher's book came 5 years before 'Cabin' ... which he claims has several similarities to his work:

-- Five friends (three males, two females), ages 17-22
-- In the book, the girls are named Julie and Dura; in the film, Jules and Dana
-- Each takes place at a cabin in the woods (duh!)
-- Each has a twist where you learn the characters are being manipulated and filmed as players in a real-life horror show (spoiler alert!)

In all, Gallagher says there are 25 similar scenes. 

Gallagher's book is nowhere near a best seller -- but in the suit, he says Whedon might have caught wind of it because Gallagher used to hawk it on sidewalks in Santa Monica, CA. He says Whedon lives in that city. Of course ... so do 92,000 other people. 

Gallagher is seeking damages in excess of $10 million.