[dropcap]A[/dropcap] lawsuit brought against sci-fi super-director James Cameron which claimed that he stole the idea for Avatar has been dismissed by a federal judge. The lawsuit was brought against Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment by visual effects consultant Gerald Morawski in 2011.
Morawski claimed that he met with Cameron in 1991 and discussed ideas for a movie titled Guardians of Eden, which would centre on a peaceful alien race living on a rainforest planet struggling against evil invading miners. Sounds eerily familiar, right? Even so, after over a year of consideration, US Judge Margaret Morrow chucked the case out of court last week following indisputable proof that Avatar was a completely original idea on the part of Cameron.
Morawski managed to prove that he had actually met with Cameron in 1991, but the 45 page sworn declaration issued by Cameron and his team put paid to any notion that he had nicked Morawski’s idea. Morrow ruled:
“Upon reviewing Cameron’s earlier works, it is evident that each element of Avatar that was allegedly taken from Guardians of Eden was independently created by Cameron prior to his meetings with Morawski…Morawski cannot demonstrate that he suffered damage as the result of misappropriation of his ideas or that he incurred costs in reliance on defendants’ promise.”
In a statement quoted by Variety, Cameron has said:
“It is a sad reality of our business that whenever there is a successful film, people come out of the woodwork claiming that their ideas were used…Avatar was my most personal film, drawing upon themes and concepts that I had been exploring for decades. I am grateful that the Court saw through the blatant falsity of Mr. Morawski’s claim.”
He’s not out of the woods yet though – no stranger to lawsuits (and no stranger to defeating them, either), Cameron is still under fire from writer Eric Ryder, who is claiming that Avatar was in fact taken from his 1999 script KRZ 2068, which is also apparently about the colonisation of an alien planet. Judging by his track record, our money’s firmly on Cameron coming out on top.