Judge Dismisses 'Servant' Copyright Lawsuit Against Apple and M. Night Shyamalan

A lawsuit that accused Apple and M. Night Shyamalan of copying 2013 film "The Truth About Emanuel" for the "Servant" Apple TV+ series has been dismissed, reports Variety.


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.

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Top Rated Comments

moabal Avatar
54 months ago
A better lawsuit against M Night Shyamalan would be ruining people’s favorite childhood cartoon ”Avatar the Last Airbender” in his crappy live action movie.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
54 months ago

Has Shyamalan ever done any other kind of movie. He seems to have type-cast himself into only one genre.
He directed few non-horror/supernatural films

* Unbreakable: superhero thriller
* The Last Airbender: action-adventure fantasy
* After Earth: post-apocalyptic action
* Glass: superhero thriller
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mtneer Avatar
54 months ago
Has Shyamalan ever done any other kind of movie. He seems to have type-cast himself into only one genre.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacGizmo Avatar
54 months ago
They really should just get rid of this particular type of copyright infringement regarding movies. It's virtually impossible to make a movie in this day and age that hasn't been done similarly several times in the past. I haven't seen an original storyline in decades. Done differently, of course, but still the same basic plot, etc.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
now i see it Avatar
54 months ago
Scandals make for good publicity
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jakewilk Avatar
54 months ago

They really should just get rid of this particular type of copyright infringement regarding movies. It's virtually impossible to make a movie in this day and age that hasn't been done similarly several times in the past. I haven't seen an original storyline in decades. Done differently, of course, but still the same basic plot, etc.
Inception stands out to me as being first of it’s kind
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)