James Cameron has made veritable boatloads of cash thanks to his mega-successful films like Titanic and Avatar – now let’s hope he didn’t blow all of that money on custom-built submarines and other things, because the filmmaker is being sued…again.
In a suit filed last week, a former employee of Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment claims that Avatar was inspired by a project he was developing entitled KRZ 2068. Eric Ryder, the employee who created KRZ, says he spent two years developing the idea, creating storyboards, writing treatments, and working with 3D for the project – and that he had an implied agreement with Lightstorm stating he’d be compensated and credited if the material was used. Since KRZ 2068 was an “environmentally-themed 3-D epic about a corporation's colonization and plundering of a distant moon's lush and wondrous natural setting," and allegedly included "’a corporation spy,’ ‘anthropomorphic, organically created beings populating that moon,’ and a relationship between the spy and one of the beings that culminates in the spy becoming a leader of the group's revolt against the corporation's mining practices,” we’d say there certainly are some similarities. Cameron says he began writing Avatar prior to 1999, when Ryder started his project.
If that weren’t enough legal news, there’s another lawsuit this week alleging Cameron stole the idea for Avatar. This one was filed by sci-fi writer Bryant Moore. Moore is suing for over $2 billion (!), alleging Cameron’s hit film was cribbed from his screenplays Aquatica and Descendants: The Pollination (no, not the George Clooney movie…).
Moore’s lawsuit points out a series of “similarities” between his work and Avatar, including “bioluminescent flora/plant life, unbreathable atmospheres, matriarch support of hero vs. heroine, spiritual connections to environment and reincarnation, appearance of mist in scene, sunlight to moonlight, crackling from gargantuan foliage, blue skin/green skin and battle scene on limbs/branches.” Cameron’s attorney and Fox have slammed the lawsuit and will prove in court that Cameron is the author of the film. They assert that Moore’s suit is “without merit.”
What do you guys think? Is this a cash and attention-grab from an unknown writer or is Hollywood cherry-picking ideas and not paying for them…again? Play legal-eagle in the comment section below.
[via TMZ and THR]