Tess Gerritsen Suing Warner Bros. Over Oscar-Winning 'Gravity'

Tess Gerritsen, author of the book, ‘Gravity’, is suing Warner Bros., studio behind the film, ‘Gravity’, asserting that that the movie was based on her book. She is seeking a screen credit and a percentage of the profits in the lawsuit, which isn’t a typical copyright infringement case, but breach of contract instead.

GravityGerritsen claims the critically acclaimed movie, 'Gravity', is based on her ideas

Gerritsens novel, published in 1999, features a female lead stranded on a space station after the rest of her crew are killed. And like Sandra Bullock’s character in Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’, she is a doctor. Deadline reports Gerritsen is asking for $10m plus damages from studio Warner Bros. She also wants a "based on the book by Tess Gerritsen" credit.

A synopsis for the book reads: "Once aboard the space station … things start to go terribly wrong. A culture of single-celled organisms known as Archaeons, gathered from the deep sea, is to be monitored in the microgravity of space. The true and lethal nature of this experiment has not been revealed to Nasa. In space, the cells rapidly multiply and soon begin to infect the crew – with agonising and deadly results."

More: Read our review of 'Gravity'

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Gerritson said that in February, she “received startling new information from a reliable source. She was told that at least one individual who was key to the development of the film ‘Gravity’ had also been connected to her project while it was in development, and would have been familiar with her novel. Ms. Gerritsen is now convinced the similarities are not merely coincidental.”

New Line is said to have optioned Gerritsen's book in 1999. At that time, the author added details to the book, which directly led to 2013’s box office smash, which saw Cuaron pick up the Oscar for Best Director. 

"To assist in the development of the Gerritsen Gravity Project, Gerritsen wrote and delivered additional material that constituted a modified version of a portion of the Book," reads her lawsuit. "The additional material written by Gerritsen included scenes of satellite debris colliding with the International Space Station ("ISS"), the destruction of the ISS, and the surviving female medical doctor/astronaut left drifting in her space suit, alone and untethered, seeking the means to return to Earth."

Relive the 'Gravity' trailer


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