Entertainment & Arts

Judge dismisses Hurt Locker case

Hurt Locker
Image caption The Hurt Locker won six Oscars including best film

An Iraq war veteran, who took the writer of Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker to court, has had his case dismissed by a judge.

Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver said Mark Boal had based the film on him and that he was presented in a false light, which led to ridicule by his colleagues.

After the ruling, Boal issued a statement saying the movie had been "inspired by many soldiers I met".

Mr Sarver's lawyer said he planned to appeal the decision.

"We are not going to stop representing the rights of Sgt Sarver and other military members and the privacy of their families," Todd Weglarz said.

Sgt Sarver had also named director Kathryn Bigelow and the producers of The Hurt Locker in his case.

But US District Judge Jacqueline Nguyen rejected his claims.

In a 22-page legal document, she said: "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 2008 movie, which starred Jeremy Renner, scooped six Oscars, including best picture, best director and best original screenplay.

The movie follows a team of dedicated bomb disposal experts in Iraq, whose new sergeant takes unnecessary and dangerous risks.

In his court documents, Sgt Sarver claimed Renner's character had been based on him and had harmed his reputation.

"Defendants have essentially placed a bulls-eye on the back of my army uniform / bomb suit for my current and future deployments," he wrote in a sworn declaration he signed in Afghanistan in March.

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

The soldier claimed Boal wanted to stay with him exclusively because he did not trust other bomb technicians.

In his statement, Boal said The Hurt Locker had been inspired by a number of servicemen he had "met and interviewed during my time reporting in Iraq and elsewhere".

"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," his statement concluded.

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