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James Cameron

Sued By Sci Fi Geek --

You Stole 'Avatar' From Me!!!

12/9/2011 4:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1208_james_cameron_avatar_EX
James Cameron
is an idea stealing thief ... who ripped the story for "Avatar" from a science fiction nerd who once worked with Cameron's production company ... this according to a new lawsuit.

Cameron is being sued by a guy named Eric Ryder -- who claims back in 1997, he came up with a movie called "KRZ 2068" -- an "environmentally themed 3-D epic about a corporation's colonization and plundering of a distant moon's lush and wondrous natural setting."

Ryder claims the movie also involved "self-contained robotic exterior suits which house a single human operator" ... just like in "Avatar."

According to the suit, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, Ryder claims his reps pitched the movie idea to Cameron's production company back in 1999 ... and it was so well received, they had multiple serious meetings with high ranking execs about the development of the project.

But Ryder claims in 2002, the company officially shut down the project -- telling him, "No one would go see an environmentally themed feature length science fiction movie."

So when "Avatar" hit theaters in 2009 ... and made bazillions ... Ryder was furious.

In his suit, Ryder alleges he complained to Cameron's people in 2009 -- but when they finally got back to him earlier this year, they told him to kick rocks, claiming J.C. had written the story before 1999.

Ryder says Cameron's people are lying -- claiming there are way too many similarities between the two projects -- including Ryder's idea for one of the characters to be played by Sigourney Weaver.

Ryder is suing for unspecified damages -- probably a bloody fortune.

Attempts to reach Cameron's people were unsuccessful.

update_bar
1:30 PM PT: Reps for Fox and James Cameron just released a statement, claiming "the suit is baseless and we will vigorously defend our position."
74 COMMENTS

No Avatar
46.

Me    

Spelling ripped off Charmed from a relative. She however was told not to pursue or it would ruin her career.

958 days ago
47.

bradleygonzales    

My best friend's mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here NuttyRich. c0m

958 days ago
48.

Adam    

Avatar was brilliant as was Cameron's other film Terminator. Cameron did admit that he stole the Terminator idea from Ellison and had to make up for that later.

958 days ago
49.

LISA    

The right and legal thing to do is to give credit to people that contributed to the film. Whatever you think of the film is irrelevant. The fact is that Cameron profited greatly and refused to credit Ryder after hearing his idea pitched to him. That's illegal. I hope Ryder's win will send a message to Hollywood players to respect copyright obligations.
You can bet that when Ryder's rep's pitched the idea, they made sure it was copy-written. This makes Cameron a thief. Good luck Ryder, we're on your side.

958 days ago
50.

fxdfp    

What a tool - Jim wrote the initial script in 1993. This guy is just trying to get a couple 100k to settle out of court.

958 days ago
51.

Stupid People Hater    

Well, if there is proof and an outline/script he's got a case.

958 days ago
52.

mishandl    

I am not at all surprised by this. I'm sure this happens a lot in H-wood but the little guy usually loses and you never hear about it. Don't forget J. Cameron's Terminator has its roots in ripped off IP as well. Remember Sophia Stewart?

958 days ago
53.

videozombie    

I wouldnt be surprised at all. Camerons always struck me as a bit of a putz and Hollywoods been on the edge of collapse for nearly two decades, out of fresh ideas and scrambling to find new talent.

Combine desperation with a putz and you get Avatar.

958 days ago
54.

JustMe    

Funny... I thought Cameron ripped off the story of Pocahontas when I saw the movie.

958 days ago
55.

JustMe    

Seems to me Cameron ripped off the movie Pocahontas with Avatar -- It's Pocahontas in space!

958 days ago
56.

tyson.nez    

If he thinks he was ripped off? His original story line? I think he stole his brilliant ideas from our Native American Indian history, the tree being our land our hope and living source, the scientists/military stealing and killing our people, the masacre was real just like this movie. Get over it! We had to!

958 days ago
57.

TBod    

Ain't the first time Cameron's been sued for Avatar: http://bit.ly/uaFWmN

958 days ago
58.

Jen    

Ever heard of "Fern Gully"? The only difference between that movie and Avatar is Avatar takes place on another planet. They even took the scene from Fern Gully where the lead character goes flying through the trees with the "fairy". Hollywood is full of rip-offs. Get over it!

958 days ago
59.

tahoegeminii    

well then they both stole it from Ferngully-who didn't realize this was a high tech remake of Ferngully-pleaaasssee-what did Eric forget that was his favorite movie as a kid??-now the rich skkankk that lifted "The Help" story from her sisters maid Aileen IS stealing-couldn't even give her $75,000 as a story consultant fee-that's all Aileen asked for after the movie came out-that skankk needs to learn some humility

958 days ago
60.

SLH    

the problem with writing Sci-Fi is just how difficult it is to hold your intellectual property.

The latest Justin Timberlake movie was a direct rip-off of a 1960...'s short story but these things are so hard to enforce.

958 days ago
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