A federal judge today threw out the copyright lawsuit, which had been levied against Apple and Shyamalan by director Francesca Gregorini, who claimed that “Servant” appropriated the plot of her movie and used the same “cinematic language,” resulting in a “substantially similar feeling, mood, and theme.”
Gregorini also claimed that Servant featured “strikingly similar-and highly idiosyncratic-characters, scenes, directorial choices, and modes of storytelling.”
Released in 2013, “The Truth About Emanuel” told the story of a 17-year old babysitter looking after a doll that’s a replacement for a baby that died, which is also a plot point used in “Servant.” The judge ultimately decided that the TV show is not similar enough to the film to merit a lawsuit, and that Gregorini overstated the similarities between the two works.
“In sum, the alleged similarities between the works pale in comparison to the differences in the plot, themes, dialogue, mood, setting, pace, characters, and sequence of events, and the Court concludes that the works at issue are not substantially similar as a matter of law,” reads the ruling.
Shyamalan and “Servant” show creators have said that “Servant” was in development prior to the release of “The Truth About Emanuel.” Gregorini was aiming for unspecified damages profits Apple made from the show, and an injunction to prevent “Servant” from being further distributed.
“Servant” wrapped up its first season earlier this year and has already been renewed for a second season.