Director James Cameron is facing multiple charges that he "plagiarized" the plot of his blockbuster "Avatar." Among his supposed inspirations: a Soviet sci-fi fiction series called "Noon Universe," a mid-century novella titled "Call Me Joe," Disney’s "Pocahontas," and a 1980s comic book known as "Timespirits." Cameron's team has roundly denied all accusations, to no avail. Is "Avatar," which has been hailed the most creative film ever, really a "sad mash-up” of existing stories? (Watch "Avatar" producer Jon Landau respond to charges that the movie rips off yet another source, "Delgo," a 2008 flop starring Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt as "love struck aliens")
'Avatar' is a shameless copycat: For sci-fi fans, "Avatar" is stunningly familiar, says Daniel Carsen at Mania Entertainment. It's almost as if the movie was "culled from the deleted scenes of every sci-fi or fantasy flick for the past 20 years." How sad for Cameron, whose "name used to be synonymous with smart, engaging, original" cinematography.
"Five Movies that Avatar Ripped Off"
Ridiculous — most screenplays are derivative to some degree: Let’s face it, says Anne Thompson at Indiewire, there's no such thing as a truly unprecedented plot anymore. Even if Cameron was influenced by the “rich smorgasbord” of sci-fi material he's ingested in his lifetime, the result is still “more ‘original than all the knock-offs, remakes, and sequels everyone makes now.”
“Avatar’s Script: Derivative?”
Sure, Cameron copies…from the real sci-fi master: The besieged director isn't ripping off other people, say Katey Rich and Josh Tyler at Cinemablend. "He’s ripping off himself.” Attempts to draw parallels between the plotlines of older Cameron movies and “Avatar” are much more convincing than these mounting plagiarism charges. There's no scandal here: it's called a winning formula.
“The Cameron Inside: How Avatar Echoes Everything He’s Ever Done”