James Cameron Sued Again
January 26, 2012 by staff
James Cameron Sued Again, The characters and story of ‘Avatar,’ above, have spurred claims by screenwriters who say their work was unfairly used by the blockbuster film’s writer and director, James Cameron.
The California court system is becoming a Pandora’s box full of lawsuits against James Cameron over “Avatar.”
The latest to jump on the bandwagon is Elijah Schkeiban, according to the Hollywood Reporter, who claims in court papers filed Monday that the highest-grossing movie in history is a rip-off of his “Bats & Butterflies,” a sci-fi novel and WGA-registered script that he wrote in the late ’80s.
In “Bats & Butterflies,” an injured protagonist heads to the forest of a far-flung planet where he bonds with indigenous humanoids and joins the battle between the two species of the title, according to the trade publication.
Schkeiban joins a line of other aspiring screenwriters suing Cameron to claim “Avatar” was all their idea.
In December, Bryant Moore filed a suit seeking $1.5 billion in actual damages and another $1 billion in punitive damages in his lawsuit against Cameron’s production company and 20th Century Fox, the studio behind “Avatar.”
Moore contends that he first came up with ideas that surfaced in “Avatar” in a pair of his own screenplays, “Aquatica” and “Descendants: The Pollination,” 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,” TMZ reported at the time of the filing.
That suit came just weeks after screenwriter Eric Ryder sued Cameron in Los Angeles County, claiming it actually was his screenplay, entitled “KRZ 2068″ that formed the basis for “Avatar” – after pitching it 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 special-effects technology to catch up to be able to film it.
“I certainly feel a personal sense of responsibility because I made a movie on these issues,” Cameron told the Daily News in 2010. “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?’ “
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