Last week, Deadline posted the news that Warner Bros. was claiming victory after the dismissal of a $10 million lawsuit regarding the blockbuster movie Gravity starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.
Quick Summary: Bestselling author Tess Gerritsen brought the suit making a claim that the movie was based on her book that New Line Productions had optioned in 1999. Warner Bros. acquired New Line studios and what is in question is whether Warner Bros, after the acquisition, is required to honor the New Line option agreement. She explains in good detail on her blog.
So Warner Bros. might be crowing victory but what this boils down to is that the case was initially dismissed based on a legal technicality. Corrections need to be made to the case and then refiled. Nothing really has been decided.
So why should you care? You might be a writer at the beginning of your career. Maybe you don’t have a project under a film or tv option as of yet. Maybe writing as a career is simply a dream at the moment.
But someday you may very well be an established career author and what is decided in this court case will have far-reaching repercussions for all authors where Hollywood is concerned. You can bet that book-to-film co-agents are watching this very closely as are literary agents. This will change how projects are optioned in the future.
And just maybe the project being optioned is your book.