Movie bosses behind "The Hurt Locker" have moved to dismiss a lawsuit from a U.S. Army bomb disposal expert who claims the Oscar-winning film is based on his own experiences. Master Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver alleges the movie's lead character, played by Jeremy Renner, is based on him but he was given no credit or compensation from the filmmakers.
He filed suit last year on the eve of the 2010 Academy Awards, at which "The Hurt Locker" scooped a massive six Oscars. The suit was filed in New Jersey, but the defendants, including director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal, successfully fought to have the case transferred to California - so they can take advantage of the state's laws against stifling free speech.
On Tuesday, February 1, they launched a motion to dismiss Sarver's lawsuit, alleging he has interfered with their right to free speech and asking a judge to order Sarver to pay their attorneys' fees. The papers state, "It is apparent from a review of the film that it is not about Plaintiff. It is a fictional work."
"The fact that the writer who wrote the screenplay for the film may have drawn inspiration and realistic details about the events he witnessed and people he met while embedded as a reporter with Plaintiff's unit in Iraq does not convert the film from fiction to fact, or turn its fictional lead character into Plaintiff."