James Cameron is being sued again by another inspiring Hollywood script writer, who claims Cameron stole his idea for smash hit movie “Avatar.”
Elijah Schkeiban has claimed in court papers filed Monday that the biggest-grossing movie of all time stole storyline from his own movie script, “Bats & Butterflies,” according to Hollywood Reporter.
“Bats & Butterflies” is a sci-fi novel and WGA-registered script that Schkeiban wrote more than two decades ago in the late 1980s. In the story the injured main character travels to the forest of a far-away planet, where he meets and builds special relationships with indigenous humanoids; going on to join the battle ensuing between the two different species on the planet – the bats and the butterflies.
Just in December, Bryant Moore filed a suit demanding $1.5 billion in actual damages and $1 billion in punitive damages from Cameron’s production company, as well as 20th Century Fox. Moore has claimed that he first had the idea of “Avatar,” from his own screenplays, “Aquatica” and “Descendants: The Pollination.” His stories contained details of amazing “bioluminescent flora/plant life, unbreathable atmospheres, matriarch support of hero vs. heroine, spiritual connections to environment and reincarnation, appearance of mist in scene, sunlight to moonlight, crackling from gargantuan foliage, blue skin/green skin and battle scene on limbs/branches,” TMZ has reported.
Yet another screenwriter, Eric Ryder, also has tried to sue Cameron, saying his screenplay, “KRZ 2068,” provided the central storyline for “Avatar.” He claims that he pitched the idea to Cameron as early as 1999, but was shut down.
Cameron has said in 2010, “I certainly feel a personal sense of responsibility because I made a movie on these issues. Why? Because they were personally important to me. It’s not like the studio said, ‘Jim we want you to make a movie about the environment.’ No. ... They said, ‘We really like the big epic science fiction story, but is there any way we can get this tree-hugging crap out of it?’” according to the Daily News.