Battle: LA Team Angry At Skyline

Sony Vs the Strause brothers. Fight!

Time for another round of Hollywood Types Throw Toys Out Of Pram, Threaten To Thcweam And Thcweam Until They’re Thick… Looks like Sony, the studio behind alien invasion movie Battle: Los Angeles, is up in arms over what it deems unacceptable behaviour by Hydraulx, the visual effects studio run by Greg and Colin Strause, and who also have an alien invasion movie, Skyline, which is due out later this year.

Where does the flap start? According to The Wrap, Sony has started exploring legal options, since it believes the Strause brothers have been using proprietary equipment to make their low-budget sci-fi pic after working on the effects of Battle: Los Angeles. A strongly worded letter sent to Hydraulx includes the statement, “We demand you stop breaching your visual effects agreement.”

Sony says it was stunned by the existence of Skyline, completely unaware of the film’s presence in the world until Relativity Media, the company that bought the rights to the film, unveiled a trailer at this year’s Comic-Con. Which was where Sony also happened to be showing off footage from its Aaron Eckhart/Michelle Rodriguez-starring action pic.

"We utterly deny" using Battle LA equipment on Skyline, says Greg Strause in a statement to The Wrap. "That’s highly offensive. It’s completely untrue."

That the producers were completely unaware of the project is also unlikely, since, er, the Strause brothers showed the studio some footage when they were trying to get it interested in picking up the film. But the studio is saying that the pair misled it as to the focus of the film.

At least it isn’t trying to say that Skyline ripped off Battle’s ideas – aside from the basic idea of an alien invasion and the Los Angeles setting, the two films are very different, with Battle set among troops fightinbg a Blackhawk Down-style street combat against nasty ETs and Skyline following what happens when a group of young folk awaken from a wild party in an apartment to discover aliens snatching the world's populace away with giant ships.

No, what some think is behind the move is Sony trying to delay Skyline’s release in the US, since that film is scheduled for November this year and Battle doesn’t arrive until March 2011. While others seem to point to the corporate giant having right on its side this time. This one seems destined to rattle on.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world would like to talk to the Strause brothers about inflicting Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem on cinemagoers’ eyes…