I rolled my eyes when the creators of the CGI animated film Delgo threw a lawsuit out at James Cameron, because there were similarities between that and his new Avatar film. But this new one might hold some merit. Another story has popped up that Cameron ripped off a 1957 Astounding Science Fiction novella called, Call Me Joe, by author Poul Anderson. The story is incredibly similar to Cameron's Avatar. There are details in the story you just can't ignore, and it sounds like Cameron borrowed some stuff from the story without giving credit.
Like Avatar, Call Me Joe centers on a paraplegic named Ed Anglesey, who telepathically connects with an artificially created life form in order to explore a harsh planet (in this case, Jupiter). Anglesey, like Avatar's Jake Sully, revels in the freedom and strength of his artificial created body, battles predators on the surface of Jupiter, and gradually goes native as he spends more time connected to his artificial body.
See what I mean? That's pretty much spot on with Cameron's new flick. Cameron has pretty much always given credit to the stories that have inspired his films. For Avatar, he's mentioned Dances with Wolves, Rudyard Kipling, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
I don't think it's a problem that he was inspired or influenced by the story, but people usually give credit to it's source. Maybe it is just a crazy coincidence, which is why he didn't mention the novel. Or maybe he didn't think anyone would notice. I don't know if you recall or not, but when the first Terminator film came out, writer Harlan Ellison sued the production company for plagiarizing two episodes he wrote for The Outer Limits. Even though Cameron took Ellison's ideas in a very different direction, the company settled with Ellison, who is now acknowledged in the film's credits.
As of right now, no one has sued him. But now that word is spreading on the internet, I'm sure someone will see it and get a lawsuit filed soon. No matter what happens, I'm sure it will get settled like the Terminator suit did.
Seriously though, almost every movie being made today(original or not) has been inspired by something else in some way, shape or form. It just sounds like Call me Joe REALLY inspired Avatar. Got anything you want to say? Say it in the rant back section below!