"Hurt Locker's" Legal Issues Blow Up in Their Face

Four days away from Hollywood's big night and the underdog of the Oscar race is suddenly embroiled in a bit of embarrassing PR.

First, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday that they would be barring producer Nicolas Chartier from attendance to the Oscars due to violations of AMPAS campaign regulations. It seems Chartier sent emails to voting members of the Academy asking them to choose his movie over “the $500M film.” (implying 20th Century Fox's "Avatar")

According to the Academy, Chartier cast "a negative or derogatory light on a competing film.' and that is apprently enough to get you booted from the Oscars. Fox is disputing Chartier's claim that Avatar cost $500 million to make.


AND THEN...

Mere days before the Oscars are announced, an Army Seargant has filed a lawsuit against Directer Katherine Bigelow, screenwriter/ producer Mark Boal and just about anyone else associated with the production, claiming that the character depicted in the story is too similar to him.

Master Sergeant Jeffrey S. Sarver's mouthpiece Geoffrey Fieger made it clear in a prepared statement released Tuesday night:

"Plaintiff, Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, is, in fact, the film's main character "Will James" or "Blaster One" [which was Master Sgt. Sarver's "call signal" during his tours of duty in Iraq]."

The lawsuit alleges that the scenes depicted in the film all happend to him when Mark Boal was an embedded journalist with Sarver in Iraq.

Summit Entertainment returned fire with their own salvo:

"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."

Of course this wont hurt "Hurt Locker's" chances of winning, since all voting ballots are already in. But it does make for some interesting news on the tail end of Oscar season.

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