Author Sues Warner Bros. For Profits From 'Gravity' In New Lawsuit

Posted: Updated:
GRAVITY SCENE
FILE - This film image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Sandra Bullock in a scene from "Gravity." The film received 10 nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Association's 19th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards airing Jan. 16, 2014 on the CW network. (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, File) | ASSOCIATED PRESS
Print

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Author Tess Gerritsen has sued Warner Bros. claiming the studio owes her millions in profits from the Oscar-winning hit film "Gravity."

But the studio is pointing to her own statements downplaying similarities between the blockbuster and one of her novels.

Gerritsen sued Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. in a Los Angeles federal court on Tuesday, alleging the studio violated an agreement she had with one of its subsidiaries to turn her novel "Gravity" into a movie. Gerritsen, whose books include a series that is basis for the TNT show "Rizzoli & Isles," sold the film rights to the "Gravity" novel for $1 million in 1999.

Warner Bros. declined comment on the case, but spokesman Paul McGuire noted that in October Gerritsen told an audience at an Indiana public library that the film wasn't based on her book.

" 'Yea, 'Gravity' is a great film, but it's not based on my book," the Greencastle Banner-Graphic newspaper quoted Gerritsen as telling the audience. The paper noted the author said she had seen the movie, which starred Sandra Bullock, before her appearance.

Gerritson's lawsuit states she believes "Gravity" director Alfonso Cuaron was attached to adapt the book into a screenplay without her knowledge years before the movie was actually made. The author sold the rights to her novel to a production company that was bought by Warner Bros. in 2008.

The novel and film have some similarities, but their stories aren't identical.

The novel features a female medical doctor trapped in space after an organism infects her fellow astronauts and kills them. Her husband, who is on Earth, fights efforts to leave his wife in space to die alone.

Gerritsen's lawsuit states the author added elements such as the destruction of the International Space Station by space debris — a key moment in the film — to a screenplay she wrote to try to get her book on the big screen.

"Gravity" the film does not feature any outbreak of an organism, and Bullock's character is cut off from communication with Earth and does not receive any aid from people on the ground.

The lawsuit is not alleging any copyright infringement — a claim that would prompt a judge to compare the story lines — but rather alleges Warner Bros. has breached Gerritsen's contract for the film rights and profits.

"Gravity" won seven Academy Awards in March, but its screenplay was not nominated for an award.

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Celebrity News & Photos
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

'Gravity' Lawsuit -- Famous Writer Says E=MC Screwed | TMZ.com

'Rizzoli & Isles' Author Sues Warner Bros Over 'Gravity' - Deadline

Warner Bros Hit With 'Gravity' Lawsuit From 'Rizzoli & Isles' Author

04.30.2014 Warner Bros. Being Sued Over Gravity, But By Whom?

Author of the Book 'Gravity' Sues Warner Bros. Over Credit ...

Why Warner Bros. Is Suddenly Being Sued for Gravity | Vanity Fair

Alfonso Cuarón-Directed 'Gravity' Being Sued By 'Rizzoli & Isles ...

Author of Book 'Gravity' Tess Gerritsen Sues Warner Bros. Over ...

Tess Gerritsen Sues Warner Bros. Over 'Gravity' - Hollywood Reporter