‘Battle: Los Angeles’ Goes to War with ‘Skyline’

Published 5 years ago by

skyline vs battle los angeles Battle: Los Angeles Goes to War with Skyline

The city of angels isn’t big enough for two alien invasion films – not if the studio behind Battle: Los Angeles has anything to say about it. Sony Pictures Entertainment is contemplating legal action against Greg and Colin Strause, the directors of Skyline and the owners of Hydraulx Filmz – a visual effects company that contributed to Battle: Los Angeles.

According to Deadline, Sony feels that the Strause brothers should have given them a heads up about their plans to make Skyline before accepting the FX gig on Battle: Los Angeles, which gave them access to the film’s script, storyboards, and animatics.

More to the point, Sony is wondering if Battle: Los Angeles served as inspiration for the brothers to make Skyline and if they used the studio’s resources to polish up the effects on their modestly-budgeted thriller.

In Skyline,  “strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame, where an extraterrestrial force proceeds to swallow the entire human population off the face of the earth.” The story is told from the point of view of  four friends who have just returned from a night of partying and the majority of it was shot in Greg Strause’s home.

At the Skyline Comic-Con panel, the brothers cited Paranormal Activity as the main inspiration for their approach to the film.  The independent production gave them the freedom to cast lesser-known actors and kept them free from studio interference.

Comic-Con attendees weren’t the only ones taking notice of Skyline. While the film had already blipped on Sony’s radar when Relativity Media acquired the rights back in May, the debut of its trailer and the accompanying panel were what convinced the studio to explore its legal options.

skyline alien ships 570x320 Battle: Los Angeles Goes to War with Skyline

Another point of contention for Sony is that Skyline is scheduled for release on November 12th – four months before Battle: Los Angeles. With all of the buzz Skyline has generated by seemingly arriving out of nowhere, they’re worried it could potentially steal a sizable portion of Battle: Los Angeles‘ thunder. In light of these developments, a rep for the Strause brothers issued this statement:

Any claims of impropriety are completely baseless. This is a blatant attempt by Sony to force these independent filmmakers to move a release date that has long been set by Universal and Relativity and is outside the filmmakers’ control.

Interestingly, even if their plans for Skyline had cost Hydraulx the Battle: Los Angeles gig, Deadline points out that the brothers had already seen the script for that film since they were considered as potential directors at one point.

Picture 051 Battle: Los Angeles Goes to War with Skyline

I think what’s important here is that the difference in tone between Skyline and Battle: Los Angeles is pretty significant. It’s actually not all that dissimilar to Armageddon vs. Deep Impact – two films with the same premise but vastly different aspirations.

Skyline is a small-scale thriller and Battle: Los Angeles is a military action film with a much bigger scope. Personally, I think they both have their place and four months is plenty of time to avoid the feeling that one is stepping on the other’s toes.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on how this plays out.

Source: Deadline.

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  1. Why am I not surprised that it is Sony Pictures Entertainment who are being mentioned here?

  2. looks like sony is yet again trying to find another way to grab more money…

  3. As a businessman, I think there are legitimate claims on both sides. Both would like to make a profit and timing is crucial in that desire. Not sure I want to see 2 alien invasion movies even if they are 4 months apart. I still think 4 months apart is the same as 2 weeks apart. I’ll watch to see how this plays out.

  4. I run a small film Studio in London and also have a great deal of experience with special effects.
    I personally do not think you can put yourself out there as a special effects company and also direct and have your own production company. To me it’s a conflict of interests. It’s still a small industry and everyone knows you so they probably better make it as directors because other studios may think about using them for other skills, just in case. It all smells a bit fishy to me

  5. The releases are 4 months apart. Can anyone name any film other then AVATAR that has stayed at the first run theaters for 4 months? There’s no way these 2 movies would be capable of being in competition.

    Just shows how idiotic these studio execs can be.


  7. I truly hate to have to stand up for a megacorp but turth is truth

    Well I worked as an actor on B:La and when I first saw the trailer my first thought was..huh…why did they change the title to “Skyline”.

    Then..ooh the monsters look good (we had no idea what the final critters looked like during production).

    Then I noticed something integral in the special effects that didn’t match at all what was expected from large amounts of the dialogue we shot.

    Then I thought uh..wait..where are the Marines?

    Then the very next thought was

    HOLY SH1T someone JACKED our movie!

    • I am so happy I found this page. I saw Battle LA the day it came out and just saw skyline last night at home. I was so confused becuse I was telling my husband it is the same movie as Battle LA just told in the viwe point of the consumers of LA. I loved both movies and was sure it was made by the same people…just an extended cut for fans. “What’s the big deal?” They should team up and both come togeather for a third movie! I would so see that. happy I was not wrong about feeling like Ive seen all the parts before. So Cool!

  8. Tho Skyline looks interesting Battle LA is still the one I’m most looking forward to. I will say that if the makers of Battle weren’t being so secretive about their film, maybe they wouldn’t be worrying. At least Skyline has a fairly lengthy trailer out. Battle’s 4-second teaser that can only be seen online looks neat, but c’mon, how about some more?

  9. Well ive literally just got home after having seen Skyline and its pretty poor, not completely terrible but just sub-par in all aspects. At this point i dont think “Battle:Los Angeles” has anything to worry about, and im surprised that the people from Crytek arnt also talking to their legal team because the aliens in skyline have been practically carbon copied from “Crysis”

  10. Who cares?? It’ll be on DVD three weeks afters it’s released in theaters.

  11. I’ve seen Skyline and am looking forward to Battle:L.A. They do look very similar. In fact The studio needs to see this as a money maker and link the two films, There are many parts of Skyline that look as though Battle LA is taking place right in the middle of thier film.My idea would be to capitalize on that make two more movies at the same time give them 2 different names and show them four months apart.Complete both storylines and make millions of dollars to boot. Stop fighting over nonsense and get paid.

  12. I’m happy to hear Skyline and Battle L.A. actually are from separate studios. However, B.L.A.’s eminent failure will be directly due to the bad taste Skyline left in sifi fans collective mouths. Sorry Sony… Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me! I’ll wait for B.L.A. to air on cable.

  13. hey my name is sergio and i like the movie (BATTLES LOS ANGELES) it was a nice movie and i like it i whent to see it on 3/19/2011 it was fun i wish i can do one movie of those….am taking( JROTC) AIRTFOCE class if youal want me to act on one of those movies just send me a mail to (rayo_sergio@ymail.com)thank you

  14. love love the movie skyline was wanting to see Battle too and i cant wait til skyline 2. so we will see what happens.

  15. I have seen both films. I knew nothing of Skyline; I am supposing due to the fact that it was an independent film. I look for a few things in movies: continuity, realism, and accuracy. I watched Battle: L.A. the first day it came out in theatres. I was enthralled with this film. As was most of the population it seems since it stayed #1, and I haven’t looked in a while, but I am pretty sure it is still claiming that position on the charts. I gave Skyline a shot (redbox) glad I didn’t spend the money on it. After watching Battle:L.A. and comparing that to district 9 and war of the worlds and any other electro-robot alien invasion movie that seems to be about as popular as zombie movies lately. I support my troops and loved the marine side of the story. Everything was accurate in terms of military procedures and they way they were carried out. The training base was accurate and the methods they used. The weapons they carried. Everything. Now look at skyline. You have a rotating crew of about 4-5 actors, common people, trying to outsmart these creatures with at most a hand gun. ??? Granted yes this would be a very crappy way to wake up after a night of partying, I just dont get it otherwise. The military procedures were so terrible and the men end up flying off the buildings with over exaggerated wails. It was almost comedic if I thought that was funny at all. I almost turned the movie off after that. Battle: L.A. definitely wins this one for me.

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