Tess Gerritsen Lawsuit Says 'Gravity' Author Owed Cut of Box Office

Image: Tess Gerritsen Lawsuit Says 'Gravity' Author Owed Cut of Box Office I this 2011 file photo, author Tess Gerritsen poses in New York.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 08:06 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Tess Gerritsen, author of the best-selling 1999 book "Gravity," has filed a lawsuit against Warner Bros., claiming that the studio owes her 2.5 percent of the net profits from the Oscar-winning film of the same name.

Gerritsen isn’t citing copyright infringement. Instead, she's arguing that the studio breached contract by failing to give her a screen credit or pay her a $500,000 production bonus or 2.5 percent of the more than $700 million worldwide profits.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, these terms were all laid out in Gerritsen's contract when she first sold the film rights to Katja, a wholly-owned subsidiary of New Line. Gerritsen is now going after Warner Bros., though, claiming that the production giant should make good on her contract because it purchased New Line in 2008.

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"In February 2014, Ms. Gerritsen received startling new information from a reliable source," a statement posted on the author's website this week reads. "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. Therefore, she has decided to pursue legal action."

According to The Reporter, Gerritsen will likely have to demonstrate to the court exactly how the film "Gravity" is "based on" her novel.

The big-screen version of "Gravity," which starred Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, won seven Oscars and raked in more than $700 million in worldwide net profits — meaning a big pay day for Gerritsen if her lawsuit is successful.

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