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OTRC: Sylvester Stallone's 'Expendables' case: Judge dismisses lawsuit filed against actor

Sylvester Stallone appears in a scene from 'The Expendables' in 2010. (Lions Gate)

A New York judge has dismissed a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Sylvester Stallone over the actor's screenplay for the action film "The Expendables."

Writer Marcus Webb had sued the actor in October, claiming that Stallone and the movie's co-writer, David Callaham, stole the idea for the action blockbuster from a screenplay he wrote in 2006 called "The Cordoba Caper." "The Expendables" earned more than $274 million worldwide since it was released in August 2010.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed the case and said he would explain the reasoning behind his decision "in due course," according to the Reuters news wire.

"'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," according to the lawsuit.

Stallone also directed and starred in "The Expendables," which depicts a team of mercenaries who aim to stop a corrupt military leader and a rogue CIA operative. "Dexter" star David Zayas plays a character called General Garza. The surname is a common Hispanic last name in the United States. Webb's lawyer had said the plot of the movie was similar to the one in his client's script and noted the identical last names.

"There must be dozens of characters in movies, in plays, named Kelly or named, as you point out, Garcia, or the like," Reuters quoted Rakoff as saying. "Is Garza really a name sufficiently (different)? It is not like it is either a made up name or a very unusual name, where you might - you know, if the name was Rumpelstiltskin."

In his original filing, Webb also sought on infringement in any sequel to "The Expendables." A second film is due to be released on August 17 and stars returning actors Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dolph Lundgren as well as action film veterans and franchise newcomers, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris.

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