Author Sues Warner Bros. Claiming Gravity Was Based on Her Novel


An author filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros. claiming she is owed money from profits of the film Gravity because it was partly based on one of her books.

Best-selling author Tess Gerritsen claims the studio owes her 2.5 percent of the film’s net profits and is suing for copyright infringement. New Line, a subsidiary of Warner Bros., bought the film rights to Gerritsen’s novel “Gravity” in 1999. Via The New York Times:

Gerritsen’s suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, accuses the movie operation of breach of contract — failing to live up to that initial purchase agreement by releasing the film without a “based upon” credit, which denied her millions of dollars. Ms. Gerritsen’s book was published in 1999.
Gerritsen’s suit said that the 1999 sale of the rights to her novel guaranteed her credit, both on-screen and in advertising, should a related movie result; a production bonus of $500,000; and a fee of 2.5 percent of net proceeds, including ticket sales, DVD sales and TV reruns. “Gravity,” with a screenplay credited to Alfonso Cuarón and his son Jonás Cuarón, has taken in more than $716 million at the box office alone. Ms. Gerritsen said in a statement that, as far as she knew, efforts to develop her novel into a film ended in 2002. Her lawyer, Glen L. Kulik, said in an interview that she had initially dismissed similarities between her book and the film but in recent months was given information — he would not be specific — that caused her to believe that Alfonso Cuarón, who also directed “Gravity,” winning an Oscar, based his screenplay on her book.

Spokespersons for Cuarón and Warner Bros. declined to comment.

Gerritsen is the author behind the crime novel series “Rizzoli and Isles” on which the television show of the same name is based.

Image via Gravity/Warner Bros.

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