'Avatar' Plagiarism Lawsuit Against James Cameron Dismissed
On Wednesday, a lawsuit filed against director James Cameron was dismissed by a Los Angeles judge.
A former Lightstorm Entertainment employee, Eric Ryder sued Cameron in 2011 alleging the storyline for the filmmaker's hit 3D movie Avatar was copied from his 1999 story K.R.Z. 2068. K.R.Z. 2068 is described as an "environmentally-themed 3-D epic about a corporation's colonization and plundering of a distant moon's lush and wondrous natural setting".
While the plots are similar, a judge ruled in Cameron's favor, stating, "There is no evidence James Cameron did not create Avatar in 1996.''
Reacting to the ruling, Cameron said, "Sadly, it seems that whenever a successful motion picture is produced, there are people who try to get rich quick by claiming their ideas were used. Several such claims have been asserted in connection with Avatar. I am grateful that our courts have consistently found these claims to be meritless.
"As I have previously stated, Avatar was my most personal film, drawing upon themes and concepts that I had been exploring for decades. I am very appreciative that the court rejected the specious claim by Mr. Ryder that I used any of his ideas in my film."
Despite the victory, Cameron is still fighting several other lawsuits over the blockbuster movie, including one from science fiction writer Bryant Moore, who claims Avatar derives from two screenplays that were submitted to an executive at film production company Lightstorm.
Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, having earned nearly $2.8 billion worldwide. Cameron is planning three sequels.