You may have heard about the lawsuit filed in December against James Cameron, alleging that James Cameron stole a science fiction writer’s story, then turned it into “Avatar.”
But what I did not hear until a couple of days ago was that the plaintiff was Eric Ryder.
As in Eric Ryder, Staples Class of 1979.
According to Courthouse News Service — what, you don’t read it regularly? — Eric’s Los Angeles Superior Court suit alleges that he worked with Cameron’s production company, Lightstorm Entertainment “for almost 2 years” to develop Eric’s story, “KRZ 2068,” into a 3-D movie.
Courthouse News reports:
Ryder’s story followed “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,” according to the complaint.
Eric says he pitched the story to Lightstorm in 1999.
Ryder says he also provided the production company with “treatments, photographs, 3-D visual representations and imagery, character and scene development, story element and production ideas, and screenplay development assistance, in anticipation of the motion picture’s production.”
But after 2 years of development work, Ryder says, the production company told him the film could not be made “because no one would be interested in an environmentally themed science fiction feature film.”
Eric seeks punitive damages, and a share of the profits.
That would be substantial. “Avatar” was the highest-grossing film of all time.