×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Gravity’ Author Tess Gerritsen Claims Warner Bros. Movie Was Based on Her Book

Author Tess Gerritsen has filed suit against Warner Bros. claiming that the movie “Gravity” is actually based on her novel of the same name, and that she should receive screen credit and a percentage of the profits.

Like the movie, Gerritsen’s novel “Gravity,” published in 1999, features a female medical doctor/astronaut who is stranded alone on a space station after the rest of the crew is killed in a series of disasters.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, does not claim copyright infringement, the typical route for idea-theft cases, but breach of contract.

Gerritsen contends that the terms of her sale of her novel “Gravity” to Katja Motion Picture Corp., a shell company for New Line, called for her to receive a production bonus of $500,000, 2.5% of the “defined net proceeds” from the movie, and screen credit. She was paid $1 million when Katja purchased motion picture rights in March, 1999, just months before the book was published. Her suit claims that director Alfonso Cuaron was attached to the screen adaption, but she as not told of it at the time.

Some time after 2002, the suit claims, Cuaron and his son, Jonas, wrote a screenplay called “Gravity.” She claims that Warner Bros., the studio behind “Gravity,” owns the feature rights to her book after it took control of New Line in 2008.

The suit seeks damages of at least $10 million, which would include a percentage of net proceeds.

A spokesman for Warner Bros. said they had no comment.

But when the movie was released last year, Gerritsen’s fans reportedly sent her notes of congratulations on the movie, assuming that it was based on the book. Yet she said in an interview in October with the Greencastle Banner Graphic, a local Indiana paper, that the movie is a “great film, but it’s not based on my book.”

In Gerritsen’s suit, however, she contends that she even helped in the movie development process by writing in additional book material, including scenes of satellite debris colliding with the space station, the destruction of the international space station, and the surviving female astronaut drifting alone and untethered and seeking a way to return to earth.

She is represented by Glen Kulik of Kulik, Gottesman & Siegel.

Update: 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.”

More Film

  • Cannes: European Auteurs Launch Appeal to

    Cannes: European Auteurs Launch Appeal to Get E.U. Elections Vote Out

    A group of 500 prominent European auteurs – including heavyweights attending Cannes such as Céline Sciamma, Pawel Pawlikowski, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne – have launched an impassioned appeal to citizens of the 28 European Union nations to get out the vote at the upcoming May 23-26 E.U. parliamentary elections. “It is true, Europe is hardly [...]

  • Photograph by Svetlana Cvetko

    Blitz Films' Eryl Cochran Talks About Indie Film in Challenging Market

    Eryl Cochran heads production & development at production and financing shingle Blitz Films, where she works alongside company founders, filmmakers Nikolay and Sergey Sarkisov. Blitz, launched in 2018, is carving out a niche in the indie world with an eye for emerging talent. Blitz’s slate includes “Show Me What You Got,” directed by cinematographer Svetlana [...]

  • Echo in the Canyon review

    Film Review: ‘Echo in the Canyon’

    Arguably the most sturdily crafted and entertainingly anecdotal documentary of its kind since Denny Tedesco’s “The Wrecking Crew,” a similarly nostalgic celebration of artists who generously contributed to the soundtrack of the baby boomer generation, Andrew Slater’s “Echo in the Canyon” offers a richly evocative and star-studded overview of the 1960s Laurel Canyon music scene. [...]

  • Alain Berliner To Direct Cannes-Set ‘Second

    ‘Ma Vie en Rose’s’ Alain Berliner Directs Star Cast in ‘Second to Nun’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Page Three Media and Artemis Productions, which backed “The Danish Girl,” announced in Cannes “Second to Nun,” a new feature from Golden Globe winning director Alain Berliner. Berliner’s decades-ahead-of-its-time “Ma Vie en Rose,” the tale of a young transgender girl with dreams of growing into a mature woman and marrying the boy next door, was [...]

  • Artist Andrew Levitas Tackles Corporate Greed

    Artist Andrew Levitas Tackles Corporate Greed in Johnny Depp Starring 'Minamata'

    Andrew Levitas has carved out a unique place in the art world, having used his considerable skills across multiple creative platforms. A filmmaker, painter, sculptor, producer, writer, actor and photographer, Levitas is also the founder of Metalwork Pictures, a media production company that develops and produces original content, including his 2014 directorial debut, “Lullaby,” as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content