The 'Real' Will James to Sue Hurt Locker

Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver claims Mark Boal stole his story
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2010 9:16 AM CST
The real "Will James", Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver, risking his life as witnessed by Writer Mark Boal, as seen in Playboy magazine.   (PRNewsFoto/The Fieger Law Offices)
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(Newser) – Just as The Hurt Locker is riding high on its success—and could be days away from winning a best-picture Oscar—a real bomb expert says the story was stolen from him, and he's hatching a lawsuit. His lawyer charged yesterday in a press release that screenwriter Mark Boal—who wrote a Playboy article about Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver and his bomb squad team that served as the inspiration for the film—stole “virtually all of the situations portrayed in the film” from Sarver’s actual experiences.

“Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, is, in fact, the film's main character,” reads the press release, adding that “the hurt locker” is a phrase Sarver came up with, and that filmmakers “decided to cheat” Sarver out of any money or acknowledgment. Boal denies the claims. “Like a lot of soldiers, he identifies with the film, but the character I wrote is fictional,” he tells the Los Angeles Times. Sarver’s lawyers plan to file the suit today.

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