James Cameron ripped off Soviet sci-fi writers for movie about blue cat hippies, say pale, tail-less Russians incensed on behalf of author who doesn’t seem to have dollar signs for pupils.
A group of modern-day Russian communists based in St Petersburg has even called for Cameron to be arrested for “plundering” Soviet legacy, Pravda reported today. A message posted on the website of the CPLR (the Communists of St Petersburg and the Leningrad Region Organisation) claims that “the starred and striped scum” – ie Cameron – “did that because the late writers would not be able to sue him. Cameron’s place is in jail, not on the red carpet of the Oscar ceremony.”
The CPLR is wrong on one important point – only Arkady is dead. His brother Boris Strugatsky is still with us and could therefore sue for plagiarism if he wanted. But according to reports, Boris has shrugged off the similarities between Avatar and his work.
However, he hasn’t yet seen the Cameron film and some Russians hope he might change his mind when he realises how close the stories are. Given that Avatar is already the second most successful film in the history of Hollywood – and is quickly catching up with the all-time number one, Titanic, also by Cameron – a lawsuit could make him a rich man, though plagiarism is notoriously difficult to prove.