As Zap2it previously reported, the man behind Mike Tyson‘s infamous face tattoo is suing “The Hangover: Part II” creators over copyright claims. In the Warner Bros’ comedy sequel, Stu (Ed Helms) wakes up in Bangkok sporting some face ink resembling that of Mr. Tyson.
]]>Reportedly, S. Victor Whitmill, who copyrighted the “tribal tattoo” in 2003, had hoped to stop the release of the big budget summer blockbuster. His Federal District Court claim had asked that Warner Bros refrain from using the tattoo in posters and the movie itself, in addition to unspecified monetary damages. A consequence that copyright expert Christopher A. Harkins tells the New York Times is (thankfully) highly unlikely. Warner Bros responded in court on Friday (May 20), stating that any delay in releasing the film would cause a huge economic burden and that the complaint has no legal precedent. The studio is claiming the “fair use” defense, specifically regarding a right to parody. Tyson himself, who appears in both films, is staying out of this brawl. The suit states: “This case is not about Mike Tyson, Mike Tyson’s likeness, or Mike Tyson’s right to use or control his identity. This case is about Warner Bros. appropriation of Mr. Whitmill’s art and Warner Bros. unauthorized use of that art, separate and apart from Mr. Tyson.” The famed fighter wasn’t even in on the joke until they began filming. Helms tells EW, “His reaction to the tattoo is in the movie because they did not prep him or me beforehand. As his arrival on set was imminent, it became clear that no one had told him about the tattoo bit, and I was actually worried he’d be mad at me and the switch would flip, but he was so cool about it. He is misunderstood. He’s like the nicest man. He couldn’t be cooler so it was a little anti-climactic.” We’ll see how it all plays out in court. According to the Hollywood Reporter, there is a hearing scheduled for Monday in Missouri federal court. The flick is expected to premiere on Friday May 27th.