Angelina Jolie sued over 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' plot
Angelina Jolie is being sued for allegedly stealing the plot of her upcoming film, "In the Land of Blood and Honey," the first feature film written and directed by the actress.
Bosnian-Croatian journalist and author James J. Braddock (aka Josip J. Knezevic) claimed that Jolie "copied, stole" elements of his 2007 book "The Soul Shattering" to write the script for the film.
The R-rated movie is about a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman who fall in love at the time of the Bosnian war in the 1990s and stars local actors Zana Marjanovic and Goran Kostic.
The legal filing outlines some of the similarities between the projects.
"The Subject Work's main female character is subject to continuous abuse and rape by soldiers and officers in the camp. In addition to being raped continuously by soldiers and officers, she is forced to become a servant at the camp headquarters, a duty assumed by very few of the captives," the legal document reads, according to Radar Online. "The Motion Picture's main female character is also subject to continuous rape by soldiers and officers in the camp and subsequently becomes a servant at camp headquarters."
Braddock also named the film's production company, GK films in the suit and is demanding a jury trial.
The author has been public about his efforts to reach GK films and rally against Jolie on his personal blog, writing, "I do believe that Ms. Jolie used (copied, stole) crucial elements of my book in writing the screenplay for the movie first known as 'Untitled Love Story' and finally unimaginatively titled 'In the Land of Blood and Honey.'"
The author also published a letter he received from the production company, urging him to "cease making defamatory statements."
"Ms. Angelina Jolie has not read your book entitled 'The Soul Shattering,'" the letter from GK Films to Braddock read. "Any similarities in the Picture and your book are purely coincidental. We must therefore insist that you immediately cease and desist from any further harassment of anyone connected with the Picture, including Ms. Jolie. GKF hereby demands that you and all those who have acted in concert with you immediately cease making defamatory statements on your website, on twitter, on Facebook, and any and all other media outlets with respect to Ms. Jolie or GKF."
Jolie, a UN Refugee Agency Goodwill Ambassador, and life partner Brad Pitt have visited Bosnia and Herzegovina in the past to discuss issues such as the plight of the country's displaced people. The actress had said in a press release issued by the film studio, GK Films, that "In the Land of Blood and Honey" "is a love story, not a political statement."
"I thought of you every day. Why couldn't you have been born a Serb?" Kostic's character, Danijel, says to his lady love, Ajla, in the trailer.
Jolie does not appear in the film herself but did write its script. The actress told Vanity Fair magazine in October that she was inspired to pen it while battling the flu.
"I had to be quarantined from the children for two days," she said. "I was in the attic of a house in France. I was isolated, pacing. I don't watch TV and I wasn't reading anything. So I started writing. I went from the beginning to the end. I didn't know any other way."
The actress said Pitt read her work while on a trip and told her over the phone: 'You know, honey, it's not that bad.'"
Jolie is also one of the film's producers, along with the company's producer Graham King and his business partner Tim Headington, both of whom recently collaborated on the actress' film "The Tourist," which also stars Johnny Depp and was released in 2010.
Jolie has directed a project before - a 2007 documentary called "A Place in Time," which captures three minutes in time in various places around the world and also stars Anne Hathaway, Wyclef Jean and the actress' ex-husband and "Hackers" co-star, Jonny Lee Miller.
"In The Land of Blood and Honey" is set for release on December 23. Check out the trailer below.