Avatar Director James Cameron Sued by Maryland Man
Science fiction writer, Bryant Moore, filed a lawsuit on December 19th against Hollywood director James Cameron and his production company, 20th Century Fox Film Corp. Moore claims that many of the themes in “Avatar”, including “plots, settings, dialogues, mood, and tones,” were stolen from his 1994 screenplay “Aquatica” and his 2003 screenplay “Descendants: The Pollination”. Nominated for nine Academy Awards and winning a Golden Globe for Best Picture in 2010, “Avatar” is the highest grossing film of all time, earning $2.7 billion. According to official court documents, the Maryland man from College Parks is suing for more than $1.5 billion in actual damages and more than $1 billion in punitive damages.
In the lawsuit, Moore points out various similarities: bio-luminescent flora/plant life, un-breathable 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 beings, and battle scenes on limbs/branches. Moore’s claims follow closely behind another lawsuit against Cameron made just weeks before by screenwriter, Eric Ryder. He sued Cameron in Los Angeles County, claiming Cameron stole the basis for “Avatar” from his screenplay, entitled “KRZ 2068″, that he pitched unsuccessfully to Cameron’s production company in 1999.
Cameron has said previously that he came up with the idea for the environmental parable behind “Avatar” in the early ‘90s but had to wait for the special-effects technology to catch up to be able to film it. Cameron told the Daily News in 2010, “I certainly feel a personal sense of responsibility because I made a movie on these issues. Why? Because they were personally important to me. It’s not like the studio said, ‘Jim we want you to make a movie about the environment’. No. …They said, ‘We really like the big epic science fiction story, but is there any way we can get this tree-hugging crap out of it?’.”
Cameron’s attorney, Bert Fields, told the Baltimore Business Journal that “There is no question that Jim Cameron is the author of ‘Avatar’ and there is absolutely no merit to any suit that says he isn’t, and we plan to demonstrate that in court.” According to Fields, a partner at Greenberg Glusker in Los Angeles that has represented A-list celebrities such as Tom Cruise, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Madonna, and director Jerry Bruckheimer, Cameron has no plans to settle outside of court. He goes on to say, “[Avatar] is a fantastic achievement and anyone that tries to take that credit from him deserves a battle in court.”