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Author Sues Warner Brothers Over Rights to “Gravity”

On Behalf of | May 1, 2014 | Entertainment Law |

Best selling author Tess Gerritsen has sued Warner Brothers for breach of contract over their Oscar-winning space film “Gravity“.  According the Gerritsen, she had a deal with a subsidary of Warner Bros. for her book of the same title, “Gravity”.  While the book does not have the exact same story, there are similar elements between the two story, including the idea of a lone female astronaut stuck in space.  According to this Vanity Fair article, Gerritsen herself at the time the film was released said that the film was not based on her novel, but now has learned information that a key player in the film was one of the people originally trying to bring her book to the big screen.

Well it seems unlikely that Gerristen would prevail on a copyright infringement case, there could be a vaild breach of contract arguement, depending on the language in the original agreement when she sold the rights to her novel.  Given that potential, and the amount of money the film has generated, it seems like the smart move for Warner Bros. would be to settle with Gerristen for a reasonable amount.  It is important to keep in mind that Gerristen was already paid $1 million for the rights to her novel when she sold them 15 years ago.

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