Angelina Jolie denies copying main elements of a book in the screenplay of a 2011 film she wrote. Back in December, author James J. Braddock sued the Oscar-winning actress along with the GK Films and distributor Film District for copyright infringement, claiming last year’s “In The Land of Blood and Honey” is a blow-by-blow of the 2007 book, The Soul Shattering.
Yesterday, Jolie and company filed a 13-page response denying the film is “substantially similar” to the book citing Ninth Circuit law.
Instead, the actress claims film inspiration sprung from her travels to Bosnia as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador.
Jolie traveled to Bosnia along with Brad Pitt in 2010, and for her work on the film, received honorary citizenship this past July.
Plus, the studio has claimed in an email to the author at thesoulshattering.net Jolie has never laid eyes on the novel.
There’s a lot at stake with the claim considering the film covering the Bosnian War of the ’90s is Jolie’s directing debut.
Both book and film depict love stories set in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war in which the lead female character gets captured by Serbian militants and falls for one of her captors.
The response filed notes five claims of copyright infringement but dismisses them as “substantially similar” including the fact both depict love stories and that the main female character plays a Bosnian Muslim captured by the Serbian military.
Here’s a description of The Soul Shattering from the book’s site:
“The Soul Shattering tells the story of a Bosnian-Croatian woman rescued from a Serbian concentration camp by the camp’s deputy commander.”
And, one for “In the Land of Blood and Honey” from IMDB:
“During the Bosnian War, Danijel, a soldier fighting for the Serbs, re-encounters Ajla, a Bosnian who’s now a captive in his camp he oversees. Their once promising connection has become ambiguous as their motives have changed.”
Unlike the novel, the latter showcases a “connection” prior to the lead’s capture. The 13-page filing also points out the film does not depict “continuous rape by soldiers and officers in the camp” as occurs in the book.
In 2010, the film was originally rumoured to be about a “Bosnian Muslim woman falling for a Serbian soldier who rapes her during the bitter Balkans war.”
As well, Deadline reports The Soul Shattering author Braddock claims he met with “In The Land of Blood and Honey” producer Eric Sarkic to make his film into a movie long before filming was underway for the 2011 film.
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