Jeffrey Sarver, a 38-year-old sergeant in the army’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal, claims that he was the model for the main character in the movie the Hurt Locker, and has therefore introduced a multimillion-dollar lawsuit after failing to receive any credit for his efforts.
In the film, Jeffrey was depicted as Will James (played by Jeremy Renner), the extreme risk-taker soldier who continuously pushes his bomb-disposing buddies to take ever-increasing risks while they’re out in the field; however, Summit Entertainment, the film’s distributors, asserts that the character is entirely fictitious.
Sarver, now armed with the infamously tough-as-nails lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger – who had worked on such controversial cases as that of Jack Kevorkian (aka Doctor Death) – are adamantly pressing the belief that a soldier’s life has been stolen by Hollywood. They draw the attention of the jury to the fact that Mark Boal, the screenwriter, was also a journalist who had essentially followed Sarver and a few other soldiers around for a report he was doing for Playboy magazine. They also mention how some of Boal’s best lines, including the title, were down right stolen straight from the soldier’s mouth (so to speak); for example, the nickname for Will James’ character, “Blaster One,” was actually Sarver’s call signal in the field.
But, in spite of the evidence, there is still some speculation regarding whether of nor this lawsuit is built on noble grounds, since some propose this as just another ploy by the opposition to prevent a nominee from winning an Oscar. Whatever happens next, hopefully the man who actually owns the hurt locker receives the credit that he deserves – be it the soldier – or the man who brought the story to the masses.