Little known writer Sophia Stewart is suing Joel Silver, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and the Wachowski brothers after she claimed that her short story was the basis for the successful Matrix and Terminator franchises. Although this case may yield the biggest payout in Hollywood history, there has been little news about case, despite the fact that there are court records and memos that prove its authenticity.
In the case, Ms Stewart alleges that these movies were based on a 41 page short story she had written entitled “The Third Eye.” She sent the work to the Wachowski brothers in the mid-to late eighties after they requested ideas for sci-fi works. “The Third Eye,” according to her fans and backers, has many similarities to The Matrix trilogy, which has grossed 2.5 billion dollars worldwide.
Stewart’s lawyers also argue that Warner Brothers had full knowledge that the script for the Matrix series was plagiarized, and FBI investigators have found that many scenes from the original movie were cut out to try and avoid a lawsuit. In addition to the copyright infringement charges, Ms. Stewart has also brought federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) charges against the film studios as well.
Sophia’s lawyers have successfully defended multiple attempts to throw this case out, with the most recent motion happening in September 2004. Both sides will go to court in July 2005 if a settlement isn’t reached.
Although Ms. Stewart is African American, she claims that race has nothing to do with her situation. Several fan sites have been created to support Stewart’s case and Matrix message boards have been buzzing about this news for months. Fan site, daghettotymz.com has more information and court documents.
(Stone blogs at Article Online)