On my commute to work this morning, I was behind a guy with one of those bumper stickers that says "If you can read this, I could slam on my brakes and sue you." It's funny, sure, but the sentiment behind it, that these days you can sue anyone you want for the slightest wrong, was only reinforced by the bus that I was stuck behind 10 minutes later with one of those awesome "ACCIDENTES!" ads on the back where they pretty much go right out and say they'll sue anyone you want for anything you want, and not only won't they charge you for it, but they'll do the whole thing in Spanish. The pervasive litigiousness of our society persists everywhere, from the back of a Metro bus, right into the DVDs you have on your Christmas list. Number one on my list is Iron Man, and if you think it has avoided being touched by the busy wand of the lawsuit fairy, you're wrong.
As explained in the Collider article, the photo used in one of the final scenes of the movie, where Tony Stark is reading a newspaper with the headline "WHO IS THE IRON MAN?" accompanied by a telephoto picture of the armor-clad hero below it, was a bit of an inside joke on set. The picture, taken by freelance photographer Ronnie Adams who managed to get close enough to the set to snap the spoiler-y pic, was posted to IESB.net long before the film came out, and Paramount was none too pleased. Though the picture had been obtained and published legally, the studio managed to get not just the picture, but the site itself pulled offline, to which fan reaction was... also none too pleased. By way of apology, Paramount invited IESB to the set in addition to giving them some exclusive press coverage, and director Jon Favreau was entertained enough by it all that he put the picture in that Stark-with-newspaper scene. All's well that end's well, right? Not so much. Adams, the original photographer, is suing Paramount and Marvel Studios for the illegal use of his image. Short story long, the result is that newspaper scene we all saw in the theater has been changed on the DVD version--a lamer close-up has been edited in, and Adam's original picture pulled. Sigh.
So long as the rest of my Christmas stocking isn't touched by lawsuits or the mustached guy from the "ACCIDENTES!" ads, I guess the world will keep turning. That said, if I get a jury summons in the next few months and it's not for a celebrity trial, fingers crossed it's for this. I'll cite the Moviefile and totally get out of it.