Angelina Jolie has played down a lawsuit filed against her that claims she illegally took the idea for her new movie about the Balkan War from a Croatian journalist. The author, James Braddock, filed the suit in Illinois last week - accusing the Hollywood actress of stealing the premise behind 'The Land of Blood & Honey' from his journalistic work.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Angelina claims to have never read any of Braddock's books and shrugged off the lawsuit, which is seeking an emergency injunction against the film's release on December 23, 2011. Jolie, 36, explained, "It's par for the course. It happens on almost every film". However, as well as accusing the actress of stealing his idea, the journalist also claims he met with her producer Eden Sarkic on three separate occasions and contributed elements such as "plot and character development" and the story's "cultural significance and historical accuracy". Furthermore, Braddock suggests the movie's key theme of lovers divided by the war is lifted from his 2007 book 'A Soul Shattering'. Despite rubbishing the Braddock's specific claims, Jolie conceded she drew inspiration from many sources including the work of journalists Peter Maas and Tom Gielten, saying, "There are many books and documentaries that I did pull from. It's a combination of many people's stories.But that particular book I've never seen".
The Land of Blood and Honey has been a continuous source of controversy since filming began in fall 2010. The actress initially faced a backlash from a Balkan women's group concerning the movie's cross-ethnic romance and was for a short time in danger of being refused a permit to shoot in Bosnia.