Hurt Locker producers are fighting a lawsuit from Iraq-war veteran Jeffrey Sarver, who alleges that the Academy Award–winning film is actually a thinly veiled account of his own life. Sarver says that not only was the film based on him, but that he actually coined the term “the hurt locker,” which means he’s entitled to a cut of the film’s profits.
California’s anti-SLAAP statute has now allowed Summit Entertainment, Voltage Pictures, director Kathryn Bigelow, and screenwriter Mark Boal to counter-sue Sarver on charges that he’s attempting to stifle free speech. Tuesday, they filed a 25-page brief alleging that Sarver attempted to curtail their free speech, and are asking for Sarver to pay for more than $19,000 in lawyer fees. They further argue that the Iraq-war veteran’s claims are baseless because the film neither references Sarver’s name or uses his likeness.