December 9th, 2011
11:37 AM ET
James Cameron's blockbuster "Avatar" is involved in a lawsuit in which a man claims that he helped develop the idea for the highest-grossing domestic picture to date, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
In a complaint filed Thursday, Eric Ryder alleges that a story he worked on for two years with the production company went on to become "Avatar" and that he's been shut out of the success.
Ryder claims he worked on a treatment called "K.R.Z. 2068," a science fiction story that, after being presented to Lightstorm Entertainment, was to be turned into an "environmentally themed 3-D epic about a corporation's colonization and plundering of a distant moon's lush and wondrous natural setting."
The complaint also alleges that the story included "anthropomorphic, organically created beings that populated the moon," a "corporation spy," and "self-contained robotic exterior suits which house a single human operator."
Ryder says he worked with the production company to further develop components for the film project, including 3-D imagery. The complaint alleges that "after some two years of enthusiastically working with Mr. Ryder on the film's development," the production company allegedly said that the movie wouldn't work because "no one would be interested in an environmentally themed science fiction film."
Ryder alleges that he entered into an "implied agreement" that he'd be compensated and credited for the material should the company "use or exploit any of the material" that Ryder claims he had a hand in.
Of course, the 2009 production of "Avatar" was not only a critical hit but a commercial one, having earned $760 million domestically at the box office.
As THR notes, this isn't the first time someone has brought a lawsuit against filmmaker Cameron and his company, as another allegation surfaced in 2010.
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