(CN) - Another writer claims the director of "Avatar" and 20th Century Fox lifted ideas from his screenplays to create the highest-grossing film ever and says the pair should cough up $2.5 billion for the infringement.
Bryant Moore says he managed to slip copies of his sci-fi screenplays, "Aquatica" and "Descendants: The Pollination," and related artwork into Cameron's hands in 1994 and 2003, respectively, via assistants working within the director's production company, Lightstorm Entertainment.
Although the screenwriter made several follow-up calls on the submissions, Lightstorm rejected the manuscripts, according to the screenwriter's action, filed in a Maryland federal court.
Cameron created a treatment for "Avatar" in 1998, Moore says, after the director had a "reasonable opportunity to view and read" his copyrighted screenplays. The filmmaker has reportedly claimed that he developed his "scriptment" for the film in 1994.
The Maryland writer claims the "striking substantial similarities" between "Avatar" and his screenplays are not "mere coincidence."
Moore says "Aquatica" includes a lead female scientist, a hero who leaves his military life to join a "hybrid scientific-military conflict," "gargantuan bioluminescent flora" and "rousing speeches before final battle," all of which are seen in Cameron's movie.
He claims "Avatar" and "Descendants: The Pollination" both open on a "gargantuan, alien forest" in which the bad guys are after a "key resource" contained within the natives' planet. Moore's screenplay also focused on a green-skinned, spiritual tribe that believed in reincarnation and lived in a "Mega Tree," much like the large "Hometree" in "Avatar," according to the lawsuit.
The screenwriter claims Cameron "strategically combined" ideas from both of his scripts to create "Avatar," which made more than $2.7 billion at the box office and won three Academy Awards.
Bert Fields, Cameron's attorney, told Courthouse News that there was "no merit to this lawsuit."
"It is absolutely demonstrable that James Cameron is the author of 'Avatar,'" and that anyone who said otherwise "is going to find that out," Fields stated.
Moore's lawsuit rides on the heels of two other infringement cases, both filed last week, that accuse Cameron of stealing from other screenplays to create the big budget movie.
Science fiction writer Eric Ryder claimed he worked with the director for two years to develop a 3-D film based on "KRZ 2068," which Ryder said shared "striking similarities" with "Avatar." Gerald Morawski also claims Cameron's movie is based on a pitch he made to the director for his flick, "Guardians of Eden."
Moore seeks more than $1.5 billion in profits, along with another $1 billion in punitive damages.
He is represented by Donald Temple in Washington.