James Cameron Sued For Stealing 'Avatar' Idea
When James Cameron's Avatar became the highest-grossing film ever made — surpassing another film by Cameron you may have heard of, Titanic — many people were celebrating Cameron's 3D rescue of the film industry's sinking ship. One man, however, was stewing with anger, and apparently making plans to take legal action, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
Eric Ryder, a self-professed sci-fi geek who once worked for Cameron, has filed a lawsuit against the megawat director, claiming he stole the idea for a movie about a utopian planet and a man sent by a corporation to live and learn among them. The complaint, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court Thursday, charges Cameron and his company Lightstorm Entertainment with developing Ryder's treatment for a sci-fi tale he wrote in 1999 called K.R.Z. 2068.
The suit describes the film as being "about a corporation's colonization and plundering of a distant moon's lush and wondrous natural setting, the corporation's spy sent to crush an insurrection on the distant moon among anthropomorphic, organically created being populated that moon, and the spy's remote sensing experiences with the beings, emotional attachment to one of them in particular and eventual spiritual transformation into a leader of the lunar beings' revolt against the corporation's mining practices."
The suit also says that Ryder did more than just come up with the idea, he created 3-D visual representations, imagery, character and scene development, and added some touches to the screenplay.
Ryder, who says he has been trying to get Cameron and Lightstorm to compensate him for his contribution but with no luck, now sees himself as forced to take legal action. His suit makes allegations of breach of implied contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, interntional interference with prospective economic advantage and negligent interference with prospective advantage.