ByMark Newton, writer at
Movie Pilot Associate Editor. Email: [email protected]
Mark Newton

Whether it's traversing the Mariana Trench or winning legal battles, James Cameron is a force to be reckoned with.

Today it was revealed that the Terminator 2 and Titanic director has just successfully defended himself against accusations of plagiarism regarding his multi-billion dollar blockbuster, Avatar.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cameron's production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, received three lawsuits over a period of 10 days in late 2011. Now, with Friday's decision made official, he's defeated each and every one of them.

The latest loser was science fiction screenwriter, Bryant Moore. He claimed Avatar had ripped off two of his screenplays, Pollination and Aquatica. However, a Maryland judge ruled that although the two shared "certain limited commonalities" (such as love affairs in sci-fi settings), the various stories were too different to warrant a lawsuit. District Judge Roger Titus stated:

Even at the highest level of generality, the plots of the works at issue here are quite different. Avatar is about a paraplegic ex-Marine, Jake Sully, who takes over a genetically engineered avatar body to study the indigenous people of the planet Pandora... Pollination is a story about two warring groups of humans: pollinators and descendants... Aquatica is an underwater adventure story about two warring factions, one of whom is a ruthless evil tribe attempting to dominate the planet.

Moore originally claimed Cameron could have come into contact with his work from a production assistant who worked on the set of Cameron's True Lies. Unfortunately for him, the judge stated Cameron had provided enough evidence of his own to counter claims of plagiarism. Judge Titus continued:

Cameron submitted a comprehensive declaration that specifically addresses Moore’s allegations and points to past projects and other sources of inspiration from which he drew in writing Avatar. For example, he discusses how a story he wrote in college addressed the issue of 'transitioning from a disabled body' which inspired Jake Sully’s handicap. He introduced a sketch he drew in high school of a large tree on which he modeled the 'hometree' in Avatar. He also, for example, claims that a film he worked on in the 1970s, Xenogenesis, featured a similar setting to that in Avatar (willow-like trees, blue and green bioluminescence, etc.). Cameron’s detailed declaration and accompanying exhibits are persuasive.

Unfortunately, things probably won't get much better for the hapless Moore. If Avatar making 2.8 billion isn't depressing enough, he's also got three more sequels to look forward too.

Of course, all of this is rather ridiculous, because everyone knows Avatar is a rip-off of Dances With Wolves anyway...

What do you think? Are you excited to see Pandora hit the big screen again? Let us know below.


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