In the 2009 movie The Hangover, Mike Tyson appeared fairly extensively. In The Hangover II, Ed Helms’ character wakes up after a drunken night in Bangkok inked with the same tribal tattoo Tyson has around his left eye. 

After seeing the movie’s ads and trailer, Tyson’s tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros., claiming copyright infringement. This threatened the movie’s release, which meant huge financial implications for the studio.

Just two days before the scheduled opening, Chief Judge Catherine D. Perry of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri said the movie could open as scheduled, but ruled that Whitmill still had a case.

Warner Bros. and Whitmill hashed out an agreement of undisclosed terms a few weeks later.

Based upon June 21, 2011 content from

Photo credit: Corina Rainer, Unsplash