Wednesday, March 03, 2010

'Hurt Locker' Producers Sued, One Penalised by Academy

MARCH 3, 2010 - Nicolas Chartier, one of the producers of The Hurt Locker, has been denied attendance at the upcoming Oscar ceremony for sending an e-mail to Academy Award voters urging them to name his movie as best film.

In the e-mail, which was sent to members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in late February, Chartier asked members to choose The Hurt Locker over what he described as "a $500 million film" -- a clear dig at Avatar.

Although Chartier has apologized for his move in a follow-up e-mail, the Academy deemed his initial actions a violation of their campaigning standards and punished him by stripping him of his Oscar ticket. Academy rules prohibit "casting a negative or
derogatory light on a competing film."

Should The Hurt Locker win Best Picture at the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday (March 7), Chartier will still receive his Oscar statuette.

The punishment is ironic, considering the Academy rules state that only three producers are eligible to be awarded the Best Picture statuette. The rules also state that an additional producer can be added under extraordinary circumstances. Director Kathryn Bigelow, screenwriter Mark Boal -- both of whom are also producers on "The Hurt Locker" -- and the film's third producer Greg Shapiro all lobbied for Chartier's inclusion. After deliberations, the Academy conceded.

Meanwhile, a US army sergeant is suing the makers of Hurt Locker, claiming the central character in the film is based on him.

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." Source: Reuters


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