War Dogs is the summer movie you truly have to see to believe. And believe it you must, since it's actually based on a Rolling Stone article, that of two young men who became international arms dealers through perseverance, manipulation, and often illegal methods. The unbelievable tale was originally reported by Guy Lawson in the 2011 Rolling Stone article, "The Stoner Arms Dealers: How Two American Kids Became Big-Time Weapons Traders," and shortly after, Todd Phillips bought the rights to the article to make it a hopeful summer blockbuster. But what do the two guys whose lives are now fodder for a movie starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill think about it all? Well, David Packouz, played by Teller, actually has a cameo in War Dogs, which shows his support for the project, but his partner, played by Hill, does not share the same enthusiasm. What Efraim Diveroli thinks about War Dogs is far different than what Packouz seems to feel about the film.
Diveroli has released a memoir about his life entitled Once a Gun Runner..., in which he claims to set the record straight about himself and his business. Diveroli even allegedly started working on a script about his "incredible true story" while still in prison for conspiracy but according to PRNewswire, that plan got derailed since War Dogs was already well on its way towards production. As PRNewswire reports, Diveroli recently filed a lawsuit against Warner Brothers, Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and others, claiming that he had written a script and made efforts to sell the story himself. He alleges a misappropriation of his likeness rights in War Dogs, among other complaints, and PRNewswire reported that Diveroli made the following claim in response to the film and the upcoming release of his memoir:
"With all of these unauthorized versions of my life story, I felt compelled to respond to set the record straight and tell the true story of what really happened, as only I would know."
In response to Diveroli's claims, Warner Bros filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, stating, “If IE [Diveroli's company] does not like War Dogs, its remedy is to engage in competing speech in the marketplace of ideas — not to file a lawsuit ... IE cannot and does not point to any contract or legal duty that prevented Lawson from reporting and republishing all of the source material that Diveroli gave him... more importantly, IE fails to point to a single private fact the Warner Defendants allegedly took from the manuscript (or otherwise) and used in War Dogs."
Packouz, meanwhile, seems to be on the side of the studio, having spoken out about Diveroli's memoir. According to the Miami New Times, Pacokuz claimed, "It's important that everyone know Efraim's book is a work of fiction. It's the work of a megalomaniac, a damaged person." Diveroli also tweeted the following on June 8, just as the marketing for the film began to pick up.
With the lawsuit, the release of his memoir, and the insistence that his story is the true one, it's clear that Diveroli does not agree with the film's portrayal of his tale.
Images: Warner Brothers Pictures