A U.S. soldier is suing the writer of The Hurt Locker claiming the character Jeremy Renner played, Will James, is based on him.
Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, who is still in the Army, wants credit for inspiring the main character in The Hurt Locker, CNN reports.
On Tuesday he filed a federal lawsuit claiming that writer Mark Boal, a journalist who worked with his Army unit in Iraq, based the main character on his life.
“They transposed his life in the film and then claimed it was a work of fiction,” his lawyer Geoffrey Fieger said. “The only fiction was the claim it was a work of fiction.”
Fieger claimed an article Boal wrote for Playboy about his time with Sarver’s bomb disposal unit led to the screenplay.
“The screenplay says he is blonde, blue-eyed trailer trash from Tennessee, but he’s blonde, blue-eyed and grew up in a trailer in West Virginia,” he said. “Nobody can claim with a straight face that it’s not Jeff Sarver.”
The production company said the film was “a fictional account of what brave men and women do on the battlefield” and Summit Entertainment said it hoped “for a quick resolution.”
Sarver waited to announce the lawsuit until after Oscar ballots were cast. Fieger explained, “We want the movie to be successful, because that is in my client’s benefit.”
The solider would like the opening credits to list him as the basis for the main character and producers “have to share the financial benefit that apparently they are going to reap from this movie,” Fieger said.
He added, “I would hope they do the right thing, but my experience tells me when people have money they rarely do the right thing.”
The Hurt Locker is up for nine Oscars this weekend and has been widely acclaimed by critics.