You Can’t Have it Both Ways, Fellas

So now, as if public humiliation and a strict Academy reprimand wasn’t enough, now The Hurt Locker team is being sued for supposedly copying things that happened in real life in Iraq. Let me get this straight – the first attempt to dismantle the film by the military came from those who said it was an inaccurate depiction – a fiction story. Now, they’re being sued for the opposite. So which is? Real or not real? “And I don’t imagine the answer is behind those cheap shoes, Clarice.”

Master Sergeant Jeffrey S. Sarver believes screenwriter Mark Boal based “virtually all of the situations” in the film on events involving him and claims he coined the phrase “the hurt locker,” according to a statement from lawyer Geoffrey Fieger in Southland, Michigan, who is representing Sarver.

A news conference is planned for Wednesday at Fieger’s offices, at which time more details are expected on what Sarver’s lawyers said was a “multimillion dollar suit.”

The film’s distributor, Summit Entertainment, issued its own statement on Tuesday reiterating the movie’s claim that it is a “fictional account” about soldiers in the battlefield.

“We have no doubt that Master Sergeant Sarver served his country with honor and commitment risking his life for a greater good, but we distributed the film based on a fictional screenplay written by Mark Boal,” Summit said.

So, what do we think, people. Is that enough punishment for a film doing well? Maybe they can drag out some of the children used in the film who are now living in cardboard huts and say they were exploited? Maybe they need to call up Danny Boyle and ask him how to wrangle a public lynching once your movie starts collecting awards. As you see, the Slumdog so-called scandal has vanished. And a film that only made $12 million can’t win for losing.

Don’t you just love the Oscar race?

And you have to also admire how the race has been spun to damage The Hurt Locker to such a degree that the headlines, the leading story, the only thing people will be talking about is the producer scandal and now the lawsuit. Such things usually scare away Academy voters like yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater.¬†¬† But perhaps ballots were already in, perhaps not. We’ll never know anyway, will we?

Meanwhile, you’ll be happy to know that money is behind the lawsuit. Of course it is. The two things that drive the Oscar race when it starts to become about anything other than the work? Money and ego.

I guess they think that if the film can afford an Oscar campaign it can afford to pay this guy some kind of finder’s fee? What I find funny is that most of the military complaints were on the Jeremy Renner character himself – and now we’re supposed to also buy that there was a guy in Iraq just like that? Huh. Who knew? Anyway, in a back-handed way, this should forever erase the charge that it was an inaccurate depiction.

Ultimately, a magazine article about Master Sgt. Sarver, written by
Screenwriter Boal, appeared in Playboy Magazine. That story was later
adapted by Boal for the screenplay of “The Hurt Locker.” The suit alleges
that the film’s makers falsely claim that the characters portrayed in the
film are fictional when, in fact, the film’s main character “Will James,”
IS Master Sgt. Sarver.

The suit alleges that the movie’s screenwriter and makers decided to
cheat Master Sgt. Sarver [a man who has repeatedly risked his life for his
country] out of financial participation in the film, and any acknowledgment
of his heroic actions in Iraq. Master Sgt. Sarver only learned of the
Appropriation of his identity after the film’s release.

Photo Ops will be available with Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver. Copies
of the Complaint along with Boal’s original Playboy article will also be
available.

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