War vet in spat over movie

2010-11-20 07:29

New Jersey – An Iraq war veteran can sue the makers of the Academy Award-winning film The Hurt Locker in California over his claim that the lead character was based on him and he was given no credit or compensation, a judge ruled.

US District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh also denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit, though the ruling focused on the issue of jurisdiction and not on the merits of the case.

The lawsuit was brought last spring by Master Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver, an Army bomb disposal expert.

Screenwriter Mark Boal wrote about Sarver in an article published in Playboy magazine in 2005. Boal and director Kathryn Bigelow are defendants in the lawsuit, as are Playboy Enterprises, Kingsgate Films and other companies involved in the film’s production and distribution.

The Hurt Locker won six Oscars in 2010, including best picture, best director and best original screenplay.

Sarver brought the suit in New Jersey because he lived there during the time the film was produced, according to court filings. But Cavanaugh’s ruling noted that Sarver had moved to Tennessee by the time the film opened nationwide and called the choice of New Jersey “seemingly random”.

According to the lawsuit, Sarver deployed to Iraq in 2004 as an explosive ordnance disposal technician tasked with identifying and disposing unexploded munitions and IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

Boal was embedded with Sarver’s company for 30 days in late 2004 and ultimately produced an article, “The Man in the Bomb Suit,” for Playboy that revealed numerous details of Sarver’s personal life.

Sarver claims that the Hurt Locker character Will James, played in the movie by Jeremy Renner, “is really the Plaintiff, the Plaintiff’s name and likeness, and Plaintiff’s personal story which were misappropriated by Defendants without Plaintiff’s consent”.

The suit also claims Sarver was Boal’s source for the phrase “hurt locker,” which the writer heard Sarver use several times.

When the lawsuit was filed, Boal disputed that the lead character was based entirely on Sarver and said the film was a work of fiction.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.