The Hangover Part II may not see the light of day on May 26th, at least not if tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill gets his way. THR is telling us that Whitmill, the man who designed the tattoo on Mike Tyson’s face, which is the same tattoo that Ed Helms‘ character Stu has on his face, is suing Warner Bros. Apparently Whitmill holds a trademark on the design and he’s asking for an injunction to stop Warner Bros. from releasing the movie. According to a document from the lawsuit, Warner Bros. didn’t get permission from Whitmill to use the design.
When Mr. Whitmill created the Original Tattoo, Mr Tyson agreed that Mr. Whitmill would own the artwork and thus, the copyright in the Original Tattoo. Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.—without attempting to contact Mr. Whitmill, obtain his permission, or credit his creation—has copied Mr. Whitmill’s Original Tattoo and placed it on the face of another actor…This unauthorized exploitation of the Original Tattoo constitutes copyright infringement.
Likely Warner Bros. will pay a big cash settlement to make the whole thing go away and still have the film keep its original release date. Still though, it’s just a pesky annoyance and Whitmill is clearly just looking for money. Does he really deserve it though? I mean ya, it’s his design but it’s really just being used as a parody. What do you think?