– . – Hurt Locker Faces Oscar Ban and Lawsuit
Hurt Locker Faces Oscar Ban and Lawsuit
One of the producers of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker has been banned from attending this year’s Academy Awards, where the film is nominated for nine Oscars including Best Film, for openly campaigning against rival movie Avatar. Nicolas Chartier sent emails urging Academy voters to get behind his movie, and “not a $500m film”. Such behaviour goes against the rules of AMPAS, which prohibit ‘casting a negative or derogatory light on a competing film” – although some suggest that the practice is widespread, and that Chartier’s punishment is unfair. If The Hurt Locker does win the Best Picture award, Chartier will receive his statuette at a later date.
Chartier, who financed the film himself, has been described as having a volatile temprement by screenwriter Mark Boal (who is also one of the other producers of the film). “It was a hard movie to get made,” Boal told The Daily Beast. “It was a challenging shoot and it’s the nature of the things that tempers can flare and strong disagreements can arise. And Nic was eventually asked not to come back to the set.”
And if that’s not enough, The Hurt Locker filmmakers are facing a potential lawsuit from American soldier Master Sergeant Jeffrey S Sarver, who alleges that the narrative follows his own experiences as the leader of a bomb disposal unit. Sarver says that screenwriter Boal traveled with his unit in Iraq, and that the character of Sergeant William James (played by Jeremy Renner) has based on him. He is seeking the financial compensation he believes he deserves, which reportedly runs into millions of dollars.
American distributors Summit Entertainment dispute the claims, with a spokesman issuing the following statement. “Ever since Summit acquired the distribution rights to the finished feature film during the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival we have been proud to showcase the film to audiences in the US. The film is a story about heroes depicting a fictional account of what brave men and women do on the battlefield. We have no doubt that Master Sgt Sarver served his country with honour and commitment, risking his life for a greater good, but we distributed the film based on a fictional screenplay written by Mark Boal. We hope for a quick resolution to the claims made by Master Sgt Sarver.”