When a lot of money is made off of an idea, people tend to want a piece of the cake and sue in order to get it. James Cameron’s 2009 Academy Award winning film Avatar is the highest grossing film of all-time so naturally it’s been the subject of plenty of lawsuits over the years. But according to Deadline, Cameron and 20th Century Fox might have cause for concern over the latest lawsuit they’ve been slapped with as artist William Roger Dean has filed a $50 million lawsuit that might hold water.
Deadline reports that Dean is seeking $50 million in damages over the fact that he believes Avatar was either based off of or heavily borrowed from artwork he brought to Cannes back in 2005.
In fact, it is the ubiquity of his work, as well as a movie proposal based on it that he took at the 2005 Cannes Film Fest, that has Dean convinced the look of the 2009 3D sci-fi film were derived from his images.
According to the lawsuit that was filed on June 27th, Dean alleges that Avatar used his artwork in the creation of Pandora, which was the planet the film takes place on. Dean is also claiming contributory infringement, breach of implied contact, unfair competition and unjust enrichment.
This is a case to watch as it could end up costing Cameron and 20th Century Fox a pretty penny and might even effect how we look at the visuals in the film and Cameron’s involvement with crafting the world we saw. No one is taking Cameron’s 3-D pioneering away from him but rather the artwork and visuals that the 3-D brought to life may not have totally been original.