Because he believes he’s the real-life model for Jeremy Renner‘s Sgt. James in The Hurt Locker, and because he could use the scratch, Sergeant Jeffrey S. Sarver yesterday filed a major-bucks lawsuit against the Hurt Locker team — director Kathryn Bigelow, writer-producer Mark Boal, Summit Entertainment and Nicolas Chartier‘s Voltage Pictures.
Sarver’s attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who’s also looking for dough, wrote in a prepared statement: “Plaintiff, Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, is, in fact, the film’s main character ‘Will James’ or ‘Blaster One’ [which was Master Sgt. Sarver’s call signal during his tours of duty in Iraq].”
A Wrap summary states that “the suit alleges that Boal, was allowed, as part of an armed services press program, to be embedded in Master Sgt. Sarver’s unit. It further alleges that ‘virtually all of the situations portrayed in the film were, in fact, occurrences involving Master Sgt. Sarver that were observed and documented by Screenwriter Boal. Master Sgt. Sarver also coined the phrase ‘Hurt Locker’ for Boal.”
“Summit issued this statement on Tuesday: ‘We have no doubt that Master Sergeant Sarver served his country with honor and commitment risking his life for a greater good, but we distributed the film based on a fictional screenplay written by Mark Boal.'”
An AP story about the suit quotes Sarver as saying “he was never offered a role in the making of the movie. “I could have helped out a little bit,” Sarver said at today’s news conference in Southfield, Michigan. “But they chose not to (involve me).”
“Fieger said greed was the reason Sarver wasn’t permitted to participate in the film or be recognized for his role as the inspiration for the main character. Now, he said: ‘They’re gonna owe him a whole lot of money and recognition.’
“[I’m feeling] just a little bit hurt, a little bit felt left out,” Sarver said. “Just hoping that Mr. Fieger can make things right.”