Mark Boal, screenwriter and producer of the highly tipped-to-win-the-Oscar war drama The Hurt Locker, was awarded an Academy Award for best screenplay at this year’s show. But this win is not all that sweet for the reporter-turned-filmmaker.
It seems Mark and the rest of his filmmaking team are being sued by Master Sgt. Jeffrey Sarver, an Army bomb disposal expert who claims the film’s main character, Will James, is based on him.
Sgt. Sarver filed the million-dollar suit in a US District court in New Jersey this Tuesday claiming, “The Hurt Locker motion picture and DVD are nothing more than an exploitation of a real life honorable, courageous, long serving member of our armed forces, by greedy multi-billion dollar ‘entertainment’ corporations.”
The controversy surrounding the film abounded at the awards show when Mark was awarded the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and failed to mention the Army sergeant’s name in his acceptance speech. He later addressed the issue backstage saying, “Jeff is a brave soldier…The screenplay is a work of fiction. It's not based on any one person's story. That's really all I have.”
The film was also tied up in controversy earlier this year when it was discovered that one of its producers, Nicholas Chartier, admitted to sending out mass emails campaigning to Academy members to vote for The Hurt Locker. He was subsequently banned from the show.