James Cameron is being sued for $300 million by a Florida man who is claiming the director stole one of his stories to create the character of Jack in Titanic.
Court documents show the complaint from Stephen Cummings saying that Leo DiCaprio’s character in the movie is based on him and was taken from a conversation Cameron overheard back in 1988.
Cummings is arguing that Cameron got the idea from a conversation he overheard about the events that took place in Brevard County when the former yacht master was talking to his friends, TMZ reports.
But it’s not only the tale of the spontaneous and fun Jack Dawson that the defendant claims Cameron stole, he is also taking credit for the story of how the ship sank.
Now I’m pretty sure that story was taken from history, but Cummings is really rinsing this one, saying the ‘unique’ story of a wife surviving, but her husband dying came from his story about two of his relatives who were on the doomed ship.
I mean, seeing as 1,517 people died on the Titanic in April 1912 it’s hardly an exclusive storyline.
Titanic was created for $200 million and raked in $2.5 billion making it the fourth most profitable film of all time.
Cummings is driving a hard bargain, demanding not only a huge payout, but one per cent royalties on top of that.
With there being no copyright laws relating to an idea, Cameron is unlikely to have to part with any cash.
It sounds like Cummings is reaching retirement with less money than he was hoping, and has decided to play his ‘I came up with the Titanic’ card 20 years after the film came out.