Kelly Kullberg and Michael Landon, Jr. filed a lawsuit in a federal court in California against Pure Flix Entertainment and the studios co-founder David A.R. White over alleged copyright infringement. The plaintiffs claim that the Christian movie studio stole the plot of their movie “Rise” and used it for “God’s Not Dead”.

Kullberg, who co-authored “Finding God beyond Harvard: The Quest for Veritas,” claims that her unproduced screenplay was based on her own experience as a Christian standing up for her beliefs. The plaintiffs also say “God’s Not Dead” bore several similarities with their own work, which they had disclosed with Christian Film and Television Commission chairman Ted Baehr.

“Rise” features a young college student who debates with an atheist professor about God’s existences. The student initially struggles with the debate, but finally succeeds in the last two sessions after gaining support from several characters including the professor’s wife.

“God’s Not Dead,” on the other hand, tells the story of an atheist philosophy professor portrayed by Kevin Sorbo who forces a Christian student to debate with him on the existence of God. If the student fails to prove that God is alive, the professor will give him a failing grade. In the end, the student successfully proves God’s existence and the professor dies in a car accident but was able to accept Jesus Christ as his savior.

The complaint notes numerous alleged similarities, stating, “The theme, set-up, opportunity, turning point, change of plans, complications, set back, final push, climax and aftermath of the ‘Rise’ screenplay and the ‘God’s Not Dead’ motion picture are the same.”

After seeing the trailer for “God’s Not Dead,” Kullberg reportedly contacted Pure Flix but was informed that the similarities were mere coincidences. According to the suit, “God’s Not Dead” has drawn in more than $140 million worldwide, and Kullberg and Landon are looking for the lion’s share of it, seeking “an amount exceeding $100 million.”So far, Pure Flix and White have not yet responded to the US$100-million copyright infringement lawsuit filed against them.

Keywords: God, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Film, Literature, author, screenplay