Feature

Is ‘Avatar’ a piece of plagiarism?

Accusations are flying that James Cameron ripped off his plot from Soviet sci-fi, '80s comics, and Jennifer Love Hewitt flops

Director James Cameron is facing multiple charges that he "plagiarized" the plot of his blockbuster "Avatar." Among his supposed inspirations: a Soviet sci-fi fiction series called "Noon Universe," a mid-century novella titled "Call Me Joe," Disney’s "Pocahontas," and a 1980s comic book known as "Timespirits." Cameron's team has roundly denied all accusations, to no avail. Is "Avatar," which has been hailed the most creative film ever, really a "sad mash-up” of existing stories? (Watch "Avatar" producer Jon Landau respond to charges that the movie rips off yet another source, "Delgo," a 2008 flop starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt as "love struck aliens")

'Avatar' is a shameless copycat: For sci-fi fans, "Avatar" is stunningly familiar, says Daniel Carsen at Mania Entertainment. It's almost as if the movie was "culled from the deleted scenes of every sci-fi or fantasy flick for the past 20 years." How sad for Cameron, whose "name used to be synonymous with smart, engaging, original" cinematography.
"Five Movies that Avatar Ripped Off"

Ridiculous — most screenplays are derivative to some degree: Let’s face it, says Anne Thompson at Indiewire, there's no such thing as a truly unprecedented plot anymore. Even if Cameron was influenced by the “rich smorgasbord” of sci-fi material he's ingested in his lifetime, the result is still “more ‘original than all the knock-offs, remakes, and sequels everyone makes now.”
“Avatar’s Script: Derivative?”

Sure, Cameron copies…from the real sci-fi master: The besieged director isn't ripping off other people, say Katey Rich and Josh Tyler at Cinemablend. "He’s ripping off himself.” Attempts to draw parallels between the plotlines of older Cameron movies and “Avatar” are much more convincing than these mounting plagiarism charges. There's no scandal here: it's called a winning formula.
“The Cameron Inside: How Avatar Echoes Everything He’s Ever Done”

...................................................

SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF "AVATAR"
'Avatar' depression syndrome?
Conservatives vs. Avatar
Avatar's ugly message

Recommended

Minions has biggest Fourth of July opening weekend ever
Universal Pictures
minion madness

Minions has biggest Fourth of July opening weekend ever

The daily gossip: July 1, 2022
Sigourney Weaver
Daily gossip

The daily gossip: July 1, 2022

Stranger Things season 4: The biggest burning questions after Vol. 2
Stranger Things.
Briefing

Stranger Things season 4: The biggest burning questions after Vol. 2

Your Fourth of July streaming guide
A television.
Briefing

Your Fourth of July streaming guide

Most Popular

The turning point
Trump.
Picture of William FalkWilliam Falk

The turning point

7 toons about Cassidy Hutchinson's Trump testimony
Political Cartoon.
Feature

7 toons about Cassidy Hutchinson's Trump testimony

The soul of a machine
Ones and zeroes.
Picture of William FalkWilliam Falk

The soul of a machine