In a new lawsuit, “Ballers” executive producers Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Mark Wahlberg are being accused of stealing the idea for their show.
The Los Angeles Times reports that a lawsuit seeks $200 million in damages. Screenwriters Everette Silas and Sherri Littleton claim that the HBO football drama/comedy “borrows heavily” from their own 2007 show “Off Season.”
In fact, they pitched that idea to Johnson and Wahlberg, they say.
“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,'” a complaint filed in court says, according to the LA Times.
The suit also names HBO, “Ballers” creator Stephen Levinson, and the show’s production companies.
While “Off Season” never came to fruition, the suit lists a number of alleged similarities between it and “Ballers.”
An HBO representative previously told Deadline that the suit “has no merit.”
“Ballers” comes back on the air for a second season this summer.