Did the Wayan Brothers Steal the idea for WHITE CHICKS ?
August 25th, 2004
Here's a story from North Platte Telegraph reporting that two local writers claim the movie White Chicks was theirs.
Jon Coppola and his twin brother Jason, along with their friend and partner, Mario Pittore, are embroiled in a Hollywood lawsuit that is receiving national attention. They contend that the current Hollywood summer hit movie "White Chicks," starring Marlon and Shawn Wayans, is similar to a script they submitted to the Wayan's brothers in 2001. Although the Coppola twins' father was in the entertainment business, Jon Coppola went to college and studied biology. "Dad wanted us to be doctors," he said. "But it's (show business) in the blood." They are distant relatives of the famous filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Jason Coppola studied film making at Columbia College. While there, he produced a short film entitled "Snaps," a story of a child being picked on by a bully. Then the Coppolas, along with their friend Pittore, developed a script that was spun off the concept of "Snaps" titled "The Contract." "We went to LA to try and sell ('The Contract') script," Coppola said. "We only had enough money to stay out there 10 days. On the ninth night, we were standing in line to see the new X-Files movie and got to talking to two people who were in line with us ... We told them about our script. It turned out that both of them worked in the entertainment business and offered to show our script to a friend who was an independent producer." "The Contract" script became a film starring Academy Award-winning actress Louise Fletcher. "Johnny Bronx," a script about a black FBI agent who uses medical technology to become white and infiltrate the Mafia was first shown to the Wayans brothers in 2001. "They said it wasn't their type of movie," Coppola said. "Then three years later, out came 'White Chicks.' "We had decided to get the financing together ourselves. We had $15 million, and the 'back end,' another $15 million was to be put up by a well-known, retired athlete who loved the script. Then in May, he saw the trailers for 'White Chicks' and pulled out of the project. "We talked to a lawyer, we had to take action. It was five years of work, and we had lots of interest in the movie. Someone had offered to buy it and we turned them down. "It's a real stinger," Coppola said. "We wrote that movie for the Wayans brothers, for Chris Rock. We love those guys and their work. We are huge fans and it is sad that it has come to this."