Quentin Tarantino has filed a copyright lawsuit against Gawker Media over the leaked script of his next film, The Hateful Eight. But Gawker plan to fight him all the way.
Gawker linked to the leaked script on Monday 27 January, and refused to take it down even after requests from Tarantino's lawyers.
Last week the Django Unchained and Pulp Fiction director shelved the planned Western following its leak; a situation which left him feeling "very, very depressed".
Tarantino's argument is that by linking to the script Gawker have effectively cost him royalties he might earn if he publishes the script himself as planned.
"Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people's rights to make a buck," reads the suit, which is seeking damages of $1 million (£603,000). "This time they went too far."
"Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff's screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay illegally."
In response to the claim Gawker defended their position. Editor-in-chief John Cook said: "News of the fact that it existed on the internet advanced a story that Tarantino himself had launched, and our publication of the link was a routine and unremarkable component of our job: making people aware of news and information about which they are curious."
In the same post Gawker said they would fight the claims and added that, to its knowledge, "no claim of contributory infringement has prevailed in the US over a news story".
Last week Tarantino said that the initial leak could only have come from a small group of six people with whom he had shared the script. The group includes actors Tim Roth (who Tarantino ruled out), Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern.
The director said the leak likely came from the agents of one of those stars.
The Hateful Eight follows bounty hunters in 19th-century Wyoming and was set to star the aforementioned actors and Tarantino favourite Christoph Waltz.