Charlie Wilson's War has prompted Arthur Kent's lawsuit.
The veteran Canadian-born journalist is suing the makers of Charlie Wilson's War after footage Mr. Kent produced for a 1986 BBC news program about the Soviet Union's conflict in Afghanistan appeared in the 2007 Universal Studios movie without his permission.
According to court documents, Mr. Kent is demanding that Universal stop distributing the movie, which stars Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, and eliminate anything associated with him in the film. He is also seeking unspecified damages.
When reached for comment by The Globe and Mail, Mr. Kent - who earned the nickname the Scud Stud while reporting live for NBC during Iraq's Scud missile attacks against Saudi Arabia in the 1991 Persian Gulf war - would not comment on the suit directly, referring all questions to his Los Angeles attorney, Rod Berman.
"You only go to the law when there has been serious damage incurred and when all other options are exhausted," Mr. Kent said.
In August of 1986, Mr. Kent produced a 10-minute documentary for the BBC program Newsnight, which detailed his time spent with Afghan mujahedeen in the northeastern mountains of Afghanistan during their conflict with the Soviets. Segments from the documentary, including images and narration produced by Mr. Kent, appeared in Charlie Wilson's War without his permission, according to the filing.
Universal Studios did not immediately return requests for comment.
"This is about the arrogance of a studio stealing, mutilating and distorting the copyrighted material of a war correspondent," Mr. Berman said.
However, Mr. Kent also contends that the movie - which depicts Tom Hanks as former U.S. senator Charlie Wilson - contains "grossly inaccurate" information despite purporting to be historically accurate, according to court documents.
By associating Mr. Kent with Charlie Wilson's War, Universal "perpetuates and deepens the public's misunderstanding of the Afghan conflict ..." while damaging his reputation, the documents allege.
One of the main characters in Mr. Kent's BBC piece is Ahmed Shah Massoud, a central figure in the Afghan resistance during the Soviet conflict. Mr. Massoud's relationship with the CIA plays a key role in Charlie Wilson's War, which chronicles the story behind U.S. support for the Afghans during the conflict.
Mr. Kent claims that his footage was re-edited and taken out of context, offering a false portrayal of Mr. Massoud in the movie. At various points in the film, images from Mr. Kent's documentary appear without their accompanying narration, and at other times narration is lifted from the documentary and is heard over other footage, the documents say.
"This is about a studio who has violated the journalistic integrity of an historical reporter and presented his material in a film that is not factually correct and is inconsistent with the views of the journalist," Mr. Berman said.
The film also includes narration from former CBS anchor Dan Rather and CBC correspondent Barry Peterson; however, both are included in the credits, according to the filing.
In addition to Universal Studios, the lawsuit also names the Playtone Company, Participant Productions, Relativity Media, the BBC, Blockbuster Inc., Hastings Entertainment Inc., Movie Gallery Inc. and Netflix Inc. as defendants.