Superior Court Judge of Los Angeles Susan Bryant-Deason put an end to one of eight plagiarism lawsuits filed against director James Cameron, all of which are in relation to Avatar, his most recent, and arguably history’s most profitable, film to date.
Eric Ryder, a former employee of Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, sued the company in 2011, accusing Cameron of taking full credit for the creation and production of a screenplay Ryder had dedicated two years to cultivate. Ryder had apparently developed the idea, titled “K.R.Z. 2068”, to the point of composing character makeups, treatments, and even 3D models.
The official complaint (supplied by io9.com) declared that while working at Lightstorm in the late 1990s, Ryder was focused on the creation of “an environmentally themed 3D epic 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 beings populating 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.” His idea was reportedly shutdown some time later by Lightstorm executives due to a forecasted lack of public interest.
Seem fishy to anyone? No matter now; the dispute is merely water under the (persistently buoyant) bridge at this point, as Judge Bryant-Deason approved Cameron’s request for summary judgment, and deemed Avatar an original work.
And while Cameron rationalized the incessant barrage against the asserted legitimacy of his creative endeavors in a claim posted by Variety which read, “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,” the sheer number of suits filed against the high-profile director, not only in relation to Avatar, but also numerous other projects, including Terminator, Terminator 2, True Lies and Titanic, invariably begs the question as to whether any, if not all, of his indicters were justified in their accusations.