James Cameron Winning The Fight To Prove Avatar Is An Original Idea

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When you make a movie that grosses more than any other film in history, as James Cameron did with Avatar, then certain people are bound to try and get a chunk of that money for themselves, and Cameron has recently dealt with multiple lawsuits calling him out for copycatting stories. Of course, when you make a movie that crams together a bunch of vague concepts, as James Cameron did with Avatar, you’re probably ripping off everyone, rather than just a couple of people. I’m sorry, I mean you’re probably “graciously showing visual and narrative respect to your inspirations.” Wouldn’t want to deal with a lawsuit for slander.

Already having gotten the Bats and Butterflies lawsuit thrown out last September, James Cameron has once again come out the victor after Judge Margaret Murrow granted his request for summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by Gerald Morawski back in 2011. (For those of you into such things, you can read the ruling here.) Morawski sued for Breach of Contract, among other things, claiming Cameron used ideas from a film concept he pitched to Cameron back in 1991, an environmentally conscious idea he titled Guardians of Eden. While that’s a neat pun and all, it apparently wasn’t enough to sway anyone into thinking it inspired this.

Dinosaurs on TGIF? 1991 rules!

Dinosaurs on TGIF? 1991 rules!

In a statement after the ruling, Cameron said, “It is a sad reality of our business that whenever there is a successful film, people come out of the woodwork claiming that their ideas were used. AVATAR was my most personal film, drawing upon themes and concepts that I had been exploring for decades. I am grateful that the Court saw through the blatant falsity of Mr. Morawski’s claim.” As soon as he stopped talking, someone sued him, claiming they’d written that statement in 2008.


  1. chrissy_egg says:

    Sorry – but James Cameron harping on for months about how he’d had this idea for years – before the movie even came out doesn’t sit right with me . I dont see anyone else proclaiming the originality of their movie before it comes out .

    • Kellic says:

      You can have an idea that isn’t 100% original, but if you don’t have the tech to implement it its going to sit on the back burner.

  2. epiceclectic says:

    Sorry James, you can shout as loudly as you want but it wont rid the world of pocahontas, dances with wolves or ferngully.
    Cameron even admitted himself it was “Dance with wolves in space” and was also influenced by/ripped off At Play In The Fields Of The Lord and The Emerald Forest.
    Said Cameron, “I just gathered all this stuff in and then you look at
    it through the lens of science fiction and it comes out looking very
    different but is still recognizable in a universal story way.”


    In NO WAY is Avatar an original concept.

    • Epiceclectic says:

      Oh and how then is he winning all these trials?

      the simplest of answers, Money

    • Kellic says:

      Of which they all ripped off Lawrence of Arabia. And guess what. There are similar stories older then that. Do you want to know why? This idea of a stranger entering a foreign land and joining its people to combat invaders is as old as time. Cameron never said that Avatar was an original concept. He did say the overall design of the movie is original. I have no problems with this since its just a retelling of a story hundreds of years old done over and over again.

  3. I loved the movie, but the first thing that came to mind when I was about 1/3 of the way through was “This is just like Fern Gully” — but I’d still watch it again — just give up the fight James — its not an original story.

  4. I would think a person would be too embarrassed to claim that they had anything to do with the creation of Avatar. It would be like suing someone because you came up with the idea for Battleship or Ishtar.

  5. jsmunster says:

    My first thought when I saw the movie was that the title should have been “Dances with Smurfs”. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the movie but the base idea was nothing new.

  6. Tonystark1969 says:

    If a film has been compared to at least 4 or 5 other movies, then how could it be a rip off of any single one of those movies, and hence, copyright infringement? Not to mention this other toad who didn’t even get his movie made? I thought Avatar was OK. Not great, but not a disaster. It reminded me most of Pocahantas, but only a little. But, I am a big sci-fi/fantasy fan and I stopped reading because the stories all seemed the same to me. I still loves me my genre movies, but pure, genuine originality? I haven’t seen it yet. Where the films differ is in character presentation, the words they speak, the actions they perform in combination with all of this. Let’s take Firefly as an example. I really enjoyed that series. But I am not gaga over it like so many are, largely because I wasn’t a huge fan of Buffy. And, even though it was sci-fi, I felt like I was watching Buffy in space, because each of the characters talked, walked and acted like something else Joss Whedon had already done. What I loved about the Avengers was how unlike it was compared to anything else Whedon had done. For me, that made the movie original.

  7. corrosivepress says:

    I enjoyed the movie, but saw within the first 20 minutes that it was not an original idea. Thing is, no one can sue James Cameron because Avatar “is like” other movies or ideas. If one could, then Shakespeare would be able to sue everyone!