Last month, science fiction fans gave a collective thumbs-up when Team Angry Filmworks announced that it was planning to produce a new Buck Rogers flick—Armageddon 2419 A.D.
The Rogers character, originally known as “Anthony Rogers,” first appeared in the 1928 novella by the same name, Armageddon 2419 A.D. It was penned by science fiction author Philip Francis Nowlan and appeared in the magazine Amazing Stories. And producer Don Murphy, who was behind Natural Born Killers, The Transformers, and other films, seemed dead set on recreating the science fiction spaceman.
But Nowlan’s heirs say the potential blockbuster needs a license from the Dille Family Trust, which owns the rights to the Buck Rogers namesake and the original Armageddon 2419 A.D, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles. Team Angry Filmworks, on the other hand, contends that the character has fallen out of copyright and is in the public domain, free for anybody to exploit. The Hollywood studio wants a federal judge to declare that the character is in the public domain.
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