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the hurt locker

A Soldier Sues The Hurt Locker Makers, Claiming It Was Based on His Locked Hurt

In a page-one story in Friday's L.A. Times, military personnel blasted Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker — the film scheduled to win Best Picture on Sunday — as an unrealistic depiction of combat. Now, hilariously, the L.A. Times' Patrick Goldstein reports that one soldier finds the movie too true to life. Bomb-disposal squad leader Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver — who was a focus of Mark Boal's original story in Playboy, which inspired Locker — is suing the film's makers, claiming that main character Will James (played in the movie by Jeremy Renner) is based on his story.

According to a press release from Sarver's lawyer, his lawsuit will assert that Boal, Bigelow, and other producers "decided to cheat Sarver out of financial participation in the film," which they "falsely claim" is a work of fiction. Also, Sarver credits himself for originating the phrase "the hurt locker."

Ballots were due yesterday, so none of this will help Inglourious Basterds win Best Picture. And because Locker has only barely earned back its budget, it's questionable what kind of financial windfall Sarver would be in line for if he actually won. Maybe they can just give him Nicholas Chartier's ticket to Sunday's Oscars and call it even.

Also, Boal says Sarver did not coin the phrase "the hurt locker": "That's totally untrue. It would be like coining the phrase 'live free or die.' It's military slang that's in common usage. I heard it from lots of other people other than him."

Ballots were due yesterday, so none of this will help Inglourious Basterds win Best Picture. And because Locker has only barely earned back its budget, it's questionable what kind of financial windfall Sarver would be in line for if he actually won. Maybe they can just give him Nicholas Chartier's ticket to Sunday's Oscars and call it even.

More 'Hurt Locker' controversy: Was it based on a real bomb disposal expert's life? [Big Picture/LAT]
Academy Award Nominee 'The Hurt Locker' Allegedly Steals War Hero's Identity - Fieger Files Multimillion Dollar Suit [Press Release]

Photo: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment