Charge of 'Avatar' plagiarism goes viral
How much does James Cameron encourage media's attitude to him?
I really dig the still you're looking at next to this article. I love the sense of motion, the tactile qualities of it. The high-res version is a thing of wonder, really. I'm sorry, but as an FX nerd AND as a sci-fi/world building nerd, I am absolutely loving this so far.
I am well aware that there are a lot of people who are at this point gunning for Cameron and the film, and a good deal of those people are in the critical community and in the media. And my guess is that Cameron is well aware of the attitude, and that he really doesn't care. I even get the sense he encourages some of the bigger "Evil Jim" stories. I would once I got a reputation as a legendary world-beating sonofabitch. I wish I was a big enough personality to cultivate that. I envy Cameron his ability to give the finger to pretty much everyone and everything and just pursue a massive personal vision. Live or die, succeed or fail, when "Avatar" hits screens on December 18th, you can believe that what you're seeing is James Cameron's baby.
I love, though, how quick everyone was to come to the defense of Poul Anderson and his short story "Call Me Joe" after iO9 ran their article today. Almost immediately, by mid-morning, the court case was over, Cameron was guilty, and the conversation had already moved into the damages stage. "I wonder if they'll change the title to 'Poul Anderson's Avatar'".
No. They won't. And let's at least pump the brakes a little here, eh?
The story is out of print right now, and not available in print form online. But, since we're friends, I've got a way for you to make your own mind up instead of rushing to judgment.
My take on it: there are similarities of idea, but not in a way that convinces me that Cameron wholesale borrowed from this story in particular. I think Cameron's "Avatar" builtds on a tradition within the genre, but I don't think that makes it a rip-off. Both stories deal with someone bonding via psychic link to an organic being on a planet where the human can't go. In both stories, the guy is crippled.
That's about it. Anderson's story deals with what happens when the alien host starts exerting equal pressure back via that psycic link.
Of course, I haven't seen his movie yet, so I'm judging what I think I know about this film. I do know that when it comes out, I'll see it, and then I'll be able to judge whether I think Cameron's just pilfered old SF tropes or whether he's come up with something that builds on them, that adds to the tradition.
And don't forget, in addition to "Call Me Joe," Poul Anderson also wrote a novel about something totally different, and he called it "The Avatar." And Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy and Kennedy's secretary was named James Cameron. It all makes sense now!
"Avatar" opens in theaters and in IMAX 3D on December 18th.
Can't get enough of Motion/Captured? Don't miss a post with daily HitFix Blog Alerts. Sign up now.
Don't miss out. Add Motion/Captured to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience by clicking here.
Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.
News From Our Partners
- The Telefile - Modern Family: Goodnight, Gracie. Hello, Series Highlight. The Telefile - Critics' Choice Television Awards 2013: Nominees Announced The Telefile - TV on DVD: Tuesday, May 21, 2013
- Cannes Film Festival: Cannes 2013, Day Eight: Blue Is The Warmest Color captures a relationship’s rawness and beauty Hear This: Pantera’s “Walk” is the cry of aggrieved, disaffected youth Watch This: Vanishing Point caters to car nuts and existentialists alike
- What to Watch Tonight: The Season Premiere of Rookie Blue and the Series Premieres of Save Me, Showville, and Does Someone Have to Go? Nashville Season Finale Review: Funerals, Proposals, Car Accidents, Oh My? What to Watch Tonight: The Season Finales of SVU, The Middle, Modern Family, Chicago Fire, Nashville, and Criminal Minds
- WATCH: Jon Stewart Shuts Down Bill O'Reilly '900 Pound Man: The Race Against Time': Is It Too Late? Ashley Benson Is Not Dating All Of Her Friends
- 'Rush' Trailer: The Risk of Death Turns People On Need for Speed Rivals Will Race onto Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Sonic: Lost World's Six New Characters are Teased
- Total Recall: Bradley Cooper's Best Movies Parental Guidance: Epic and Beautiful Creatures Comic Book Movies You Can Watch Online
- Weekend Movies: 'The Hangover 3,' 'Fast & Furious 6,' & 'Epic' (VIDEO) 'Dazed and Confused' Sequel: Richard Linklater Says It May Shoot This Fall Morgan Freeman Falls Asleep During Interview for New Movie
- 'Hangover III': The Reviews Are In! Jennifer Aniston Breaks Bad, Strips Down In 'We're The Millers' Trailer 'Star Wars' Fans Still Love To Hate Ewoks 30 Years Later
They can both use the same character, but will it be worth it?Thursday, May 23, 2013
Michael Cera and Alia Shawkat talk about returning to the roles of loving cousins for 'Arrested Development'Our conversation was an afternoon delightThursday, May 23, 2013
One of the emotional lynchpins of the series discusses the newest filmWednesday, May 22, 2013
Two of the supporting characters from the trilogy weigh in on saying goodbyeWednesday, May 22, 2013