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This VFX company has sued Marvel for allegedly stealing its technology to make Avengers movies | Hollywood

March 23, 20242 Mins Read

The Walt Disney Company faces the risk of losing a substantial portion of its earnings on the last two Avengers movies in a case filed by Rearden, a VFX company which alleges that Marvel used its patented technology to animate major characters in the blockbusters. However, The Hollywood Reporter claims that a federal judge dismissed a part of the case against Marvel. (Also Read: X-Men ‘97 premiere leaves fans nostalgic, here’s when more episodes drop on Disney Plus)

Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk in a still from Avengers: Endgame.
Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk in a still from Avengers: Endgame.

What’s the case about?

Rearden has claimed that DD3, a company Disney collaborated with for a substantial amount of VFX on hit movies like Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Beauty and the Beast (2017), and the last two Avengers movies – Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019) – didn’t own the technology it lent to these movies.

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This technology, called MOVA Contour Reality Capture, was allegedly used to animate popular Marvel characters like The Incredible Hulk (played by Mark Ruffalo in the Avengers movies). However, due to the absence of evidence in this regard, a part of the case against Marvel was dismissed on Friday.

What’s left of the case?

However, the court has given Rearden one last chance to amend its claim and include required evidence to prove how Marvel has benefitted from its stolen technology, if at all. “The Court will therefore grant Rearden one final chance to amend its copyright infringement claim, wherein Rearden must be willing to make [its] averments without caveat and/or with additional detail explaining the basis of [its] beliefs,” the judge said.

If Rearden manages to do so successfully, it may cost Disney major damages. If proven guilty, the company may have to relinquish a significant chunk of its earnings from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which collectively made over $6 billion at the global box office. It may also cost Marvel a dent in its goodwill, given that the studio is already encountering challenging times owing to its latest string of releases not working as well at the box office.

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