If you make the highest-grossing movie of all time (even if you don't win big Oscars), you're going to get sued by someone, and in the case of Avatar, it's by a guy who runs a cafe in Vancouver, Canada.
No, really: This guy, Emil Malak, told the Vancouver Sun that he's filing a copyright infringement suit against Cameron, claiming that the writer/director stole not only the story, but also the designs from Malak's proposed movie:
[Malak] claims he spent $120,000 developing his sci-fi script, Terra Incognita, which is about mining a precious metal on another planet and encountering alien beings that resemble certain aspects of those in Cameron's Avatar.
The lawyer said Malak hired a screenwriter and graphic artist to develop not only the script but the art direction of the story in the late 1990s.
Malak's lawyer says he sent a copy of the script for Terra Icognita and graphic designs in 2002 to Cameron's company, Lightstorm Entertainment Inc.
No comment yet from Lighstorm or Cameron, but we're going to go out on a limb here and say that this Malak guy has no case. After all, we all know that Cameron actually based his story on Pocahontas, Dances With Wolves and Braveheart. (Just kidding.)
And he's not even the first guy to claim plagiarism.