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Friday 9 December 2016

Hurt Locker court case dismissed

Published 14/10/2011 | 10:52

Jeremy Renner played a bomb disposal expert
Jeremy Renner played a bomb disposal expert

A judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed by an Iraq war veteran who claimed The Hurt Locker was based on his experiences as a bomb disposal expert.

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The ruling ended Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver's case against the producers of the Oscar-winning film, its screenwriter and director Kathryn Bigelow.

Sarver sued over the film days before it went on to win best picture at the Academy Awards in 2010. He claimed screenwriter Mark Boal based the film and Jeremy Renner's character on him and that Sarver was presented in a false light, which resulted in ridicule from fellow service members.

The judge rejected those arguments and ruled that Sarver was unlikely to win the case if it proceeded.

"Here, the value of The Hurt Locker unquestionably derived from the creativity and skill of the writers, directors, and producers who conceived, wrote, directed, edited, and produced it," the judge wrote.

"The Hurt Locker was inspired by many soldiers I met and interviewed during my time reporting in Iraq and elsewhere," Boal wrote in a statement. "It was a disservice to all of those other soldiers for Sgt. Sarver to claim that he was the only soldier that was the basis for the hero of the film. I am glad that the Court has decided to dismiss the lawsuit."

The lawyer representing Sarver said he was disappointed by the ruling and intended to appeal it.

The lawyer representing Boal and Bigelow said the ruling was a huge victory for filmmakers.

"No artist should ever be forced to create entire fictional worlds that have no basis in reality simply because they fear the threat of meritless lawsuits," he said in a statement.

Boal was embedded with Sarver's unit in 2004 and wrote about Sarver and other bomb disposal experts in an article for Playboy magazine titled The Man In The Bomb Suit.

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