Pure Flix, the company that produced God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2, is being sued for $100 million. According to Kelly Kullberg and Michael Landon Jr., the company stole their plot.
In their complaint for copyright infringement filed on Monday, June 6, in California, Kullberg and Landon Jr. claim members of the company learned about their screenplay Rise and used it as a basis for “the most important creative elements” of God’s Not Dead.
God’s Not Dead was released in March 2014, and became “the highest earning independent motion picture of the year,” earning “more than $140 million worldwide.” Furthermore, “the profits Pure Flix earned were sufficient to enable the company to produce a sequel, released April 1, 2016.”
So why did Kullberg and Landon Jr. wait until now to take legal action? According to their complaint, they have been trying repeatedly to practice the road to reconciliation laid out in Matthew 18:15-17.
Here’s a brief summary of their attempts (explained in greater detail in their complaint):
In January 2014, just months before the release of God’s Not Dead, Kullberg met with Pure Flix’s President Russell Wolfe and Vice President Randy Maricle to “discuss the similarities” between her screenplay, Rise, and God’s Not Dead. After rebuffing Kullberg’s request to find a proper solution to the dilemma, Maricle told Kullberg, “The company felt that the similarities were ‘a coincidence,’ and there was nothing more to discuss.”
After the movie released, Kullberg again tried to reach out to the company. “They neither acknowledged her letter nor her follow-up email.”
Kullberg then took the next step by going to the church. Ten Christian and church leaders sent a “Letter from the Church to Pure Flix,” which asked the company to respond to Kullberg’s concerns.
This is when Pure Flix brought in legal counsel and started communicating to Kullberg via a lawyer. Kullberg and Landon Jr. followed suit.
Given the damages caused by the copyright infringement resulting in the loss of profit, Kullberg and Landon Jr. are suing Pure Flix for $100 million.