Gerald Morawski sued Cameron and his production company, Lightstorm Entertainment, in December 2011. Morawski claimed that in 1991, he pitched Cameron an idea for a movie called “Guardians of Eden” about a mining company doing battle with a tribe protecting its land. He says in the suit that he signed a non-disclosure agreement which said he would retain his original ideas.
Cameron countered that he created “Avatar” on his own. He filed a long and detailed declaration with the court tracing the genesis of the story back as far as his childhood. On Tuesday (Feb. 5), U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow sided with Cameron, issuing a summary judgment in his favor.
“[B]ecause the undisputed evidence demonstrates that Cameron independently created ‘Avatar’ and did not breach the agreement, Morawski cannot demonstrate that he suffered damage as the result of misappropriation of his ideas or that he incurred costs in reliance on defendants’ promise,” Morrow’s ruling reads.
Cameron says in a statement that he’s grateful for the ruling. “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,” he says. “‘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.”