Avatar was my idea, says James Cameron (and I’ve got a 45-page document to prove it...)
Director hits back after being sued for massive slice of $3bn profits from hit movie
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Tuesday 11 December 2012
With worldwide box-office returns of almost $2.8bn, James Cameron’s Avatar is by some distance the highest-grossing film of all time. Which may explain why so many people are keen to take credit for it.
In the latest lawsuit against the director and his production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, visual effects designer Gerald Morawski alleges he pitched a movie to Mr Cameron in 1991, after the director bought some of his artwork. Mr Morawski says his idea – entitled Guardians of Eden – featured an indigenous tribe living at one with the rainforest, and their struggle against the evil mining corporation intent on destroying their planet. The hero was a war veteran with a debilitating illness, healed by the rainforest’s power. Mr Morawski argues that he is therefore entitled to a portion of the billions Avatar grossed at the box office. In December last year, three plaintiffs launched lawsuits against Mr Cameron and Lightstorm within one week, all claiming the movie had drawn on their ideas. They collectively demanded more than $2.5bn in damages.
On this occasion, Mr Cameron has responded by filing a 45-page sworn declaration, recounting the details of how he’d been personally developing the idea for Avatar ever since he was a boy. The document, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, is a potted memoir of what the director calls his “most personal film”.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Does the path to true love really lie in these 36 questions?
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Presidential optical illusion offers clues to how brain processes faces
- 5 Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after that Wembley Stadium rant
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Costa Book Awards: H is for Hawk named book of the year
Run DMC's Darryl McDaniels: 'Kendrick Lamar is killing it - but radios are too afraid to play him'
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes