Gerald Morawski filed a lawsuit against the Oscar winner and his company Lightstorm Entertainment at United States District Court, Central District of California, alleging Cameron had used the subject of his paintings as the basis for the plot of the $2.78 billion-grossing movie.
Morawski claims after selling Cameron four art pieces in 1991, he pitched the director a movie entitled Guardians of Eden (GOE), about a struggle between an evil mining conglomerate and an indigenous tribe.
However, Cameron has refuted his accusations and last month (13Nov12) filed an extraordinary 45-page document analysing how he came up with the Avatar story, recalling his childhood obsession with science, and even hinting at plotlines for the sci-fi hit's upcoming sequels.
Morawski filed a motion to reject Cameron's theory on Thursday (06Dec12) and, according to his documents obtained by editors at The Hollywood Reporter, it reads, "In Plaintiff's view, it is no coincidence that, even though those alleged prior works had been in existence for 10 or 20 years, Cameron did not write the scriptment (sic) for Avatar until a few years after Plaintiff pitched GOE to Defendants. In addition, if Defendants had in fact already created works that were similar to GOE, they would have stopped Plaintiff's pitch once the alleged similarity became apparent, and would not have offered Plaintiff a deal for GOE."
A further hearing is scheduled to take place in January (13).
The case is not the first lawsuit Cameron has faced over the blockbuster - Eric Ryder, Bryant Moore and Elijah Schkeiban all filed suit last year (11) against the director alleging he stole their idea.
Elijah Schkeiban claims he created a fantasy franchise, called Bats & Butterflies, in 1988 - and it closely resembles Cameron's 2010 blockbuster.
Schkebian's story chronicled a hero's travels to a faraway planet, called Altair. In the project, the lead character finds himself lost in a forest and befriends a number of indigenous creatures and partners with a community of butterflies.
On Monday (23Jan12) Schkeiban filed suit against Cameron in California, alleging the movie star lifted plot ideas and characters from his book, insisting the similarities between the works simply couldn't be coincidental, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
This marks the latest legal hurdle for Cameron, who has been plagued by a slew of similar allegations since the movie's premiere in 2009 - in December (11) he was hit with a $2.5 billion copyright lawsuit by a sci-fi screenwriter and earlier that month (Dec11) another plaintiff filed copyright infringement papers against Cameron, claiming he approached bosses at the director's production company Lightstorm Entertainment with an idea for an "environmentally themed 3D epic" back in 1999.
Avatar has raked in $2.78 billion worldwide to become the highest-grossing film of all time.