People Keep Claiming They Created James Cameron’s Avatar, Like That’s a Good Thing


?Here’s a little bit of old news this pitifully slow news week has necessitated me to dig up. Whether you believe that James Cameron’s 2009 film Avatar was based on Ferngully, Pocahontas, Dances with Wolves, the Russian Noon Universe novels, Ursula K. LeGuin’s “The Word for World Is Forest” short story, Poul Anderson, some of Roger Dean’s work or whatever, or sprang full-formed from James Cameron’s mind like Athena herself, you have to admit that Avatar is not the most stunningly original work in terms of story. Now, two more people have come forward to claim that Cameron ripped off their work to make the highest-grossing movie of all time. First and most significantly is Eric Ryder, who claims he worked on a project for Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment called KRZ 2068. This movie was (from…

[An] “environmentally-themed 3-D epic about a corporation’s colonization and
plundering of a distant moon’s lush and wondrous natural setting,” and
allegedly included “‘a corporation spy,’ ‘anthropomorphic, organically
created beings populating that moon,’ and a relationship between the spy
and one of the beings that culminates in the spy becoming a leader of
the group’s revolt against the corporation’s mining practices”…

It seems more significant that Ryder worked for Cameron while he was supposedly “creating” Avatar than anything else. The second lawsuit is far more hilarious, and is from sci-fi writer Bryan Moore. Moore claims the similarities between two of his unproduced screenplays and Avatar include…

“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.”

Yup. That’s his case. “Appearance of mist in scene.” It might not surprise you to know that Moore is asking for a reasonable $2 billion because obviously no one could ever have conceived of a transition of “sunlight to moonlight” unless they looked at his work, except, you know, every human being who’s ever lived on the surface of the planet. Sigh.

Again, what amazes me is that people are fighting over who wrote one of the most unoriginal screenplays of all time. Oh, Avatar was beautiful and its 3-D was groundbreaking, but that was all Cameron. The story was fucking Ferngully, and it’s still been around a lot longer than that. Fighting over who wrote it first is like a bunch of guys claiming they were the first ones to create soup. You didn’t invent it, idiots. You just made soup. (Via