They still get the trip at least, although even then, the worst insult might be seeing how far $100 gets you in LA.
Gravity And Life Were Based On The Same Novel — Whose Author Received Zero Credit
Tess Gerritsen’s 1999 novel Gravity is about a female astronaut who, after the death of the rest of her crew and the destruction of her spacecraft, is forced to float around in space in nothing but her spacesuit. If you think that sounds familiar, you’re right. It’s the exact plot of a 2013 film directed by Alfonso Cuaron called Gravity. A movie which was not, apparently, based on the novel.
Let’s back up a bit. Shortly after her novel was published, Gerritsen optioned the film rights to New Line, whose adaptation made it all the way into pre-production. Ultimately, this project fell through, and Gerritsen didn’t hear anything more about it. Life’s like that, chin up kid, etc …
But fast-forward a decade, and Gerritsen caught wind of a very familiar-sounding film in production. The film was called Gravity, and it was being made by Warner Bros., which had bought New Line in the intervening decade. Now, initially, she chalked this up as a coincidence. Sure, it was the same studio and encompassed many of the same plot points, and sure, it had the exact same title, but it’s not all that unlikely that someone else would come up with a story about an astronaut lost in space and that they would title that story Gravity. Also, the first half of her book deals with the astronauts getting killed off one by one by an alien life form, a plot point notably missing from the floating Sandra Bullock movie.
But later on, Gerritsen found out the director who had been initially attached to direct her adaptation was, you guessed it, Alfonso Cuaron, who now evidently wrote this new movie himself. Gerritsen lawyered up faster than Garfield eats a lasagna, but the judges shot her case down twice, essentially on the premise that Warner Bros. wasn’t obliged to honor any of New Lines’ old contracts. Gerritsen learned a hard lesson about the movie business and skulduggery in general. Which should have been the end of the story.
But it wasn’t. In 2017, the film Life was released, about a team of astronauts who get killed off one by one by an alien life form that features the exact same characters (with different names) that appeared in the Gravity novel. It looks an awful lot like they took the parts they discarded the first time around and made a whole second movie out of it. Gerritsen claims she’s not going to bother fighting this one, and we can hardly blame her. There are only so many trips into Hollywood’s legal snake pit a person can be expected to take.