Author Tess Gerritsen is suing Warner Bros. for $10 million, saying they breached a contract she signed in 1999 entitling her to additional proceeds if they made her book "Gravity" into a film.
Try following along ...
Gerritsen -- known for her "Rizzoli & Isles" crime novels -- sold the film rights to her book "Gravity" to Katja Motion Picture Corporation and its parent company, New Line Productions, for $1 million. She later believed efforts to make the book into a film fizzled.
According to TMZ, years later, Gerritsen said she was aware of the Sandra Bullock movie, also called "Gravity," but initially thought the similarities to her book were coincidental.
Gerritsen now says she tried to make her book into a screenplay and wrote new material, including scenes of a space station being demolished by debris and the female astronaut drifting untethered through space. The author says she later found out someone connected to her screenplay ended up working on Bullock's "Gravity."
The plot thickens.
Entertainment Weekly reported that, according to Gerritsen's breach of contract complaint filed Tuesday in Los Angeles, the author believes the studio owes her a $500,000 production bonus and 2.5 percent of 100 percent of the net proceeds if the film was made.
Since 2008, Warner Bros. has owned and controlled New Line and Katja. The 2013 Warner Bros. film made more than $716 million worldwide.
Gerritsen says she wrote and submitted additional material for the film, including "scenes of satellite debris colliding with the International Space Station, the destruction of the ISS, and the surviving female medical doctor/astronaut left drifting in her space suit, alone and untethered, seeking the means to return to Earth." She says that to her knowledge, efforts to develop the film ended in 2012.
Sorry if I just ruined the ending for you.
Gerritsen wants a jury trial, saying she is owed a "Based on the book by Tess Gerritsen" credit and the bonus and royalties outlined in her original contract, which is estimated to be at least $10 million.
Warner Bros. (sort of) declined to comment to TMZ, directing them toward a statement reportedly made by Gerritsen in a news story last October. "Yeah, 'Gravity' is a great film, but it's not based on my book," Gerritsen reportedly said, noting that she saw the movie in Bloomington over the weekend. "Alas, the movie is not based on my book, despite the similarities."
The ploy thickens ... more.