A judge has dismissed Rizzoli & Isles author Tess Gerritsen’s lawsuit against Warner Bros that claims her 1999 Gravity novel and the 2013 Alfonso Cuaron-directed film might be related. There’s still a chance, however, that she could resurrect a new complaint in the $10 million breach-of-contract action.
“The court grants defendants’ motion to dismiss Gerritsen’s complaint,” said Judge Margaret Murrow in her order in WB’s favor (read it here). However, while the studio is seemingly off the hook, the novelist’s case might be born anew. “Gerritsen may file an amended complaint within twenty days of the date of this order if she is able to remedy the deficiencies the court has noted in this order,” the federal judge noted. “Gerritsen may not plead new claims.” All of which means the author has to come up with all new evidence if she wants this thing to take off again.
In her April 2014 filing in federal court, Gerritsen, upon whose books the TNT series Rizzoli & Isles is based, tried to create a linkage between New Line-based Katja purchasing the rights to her Gravity for $1 million the year it came out, and the 2013 movie. She said the parties and WB were “alter egos” of each other. While WB bought New Line in 2008, it said that wasn’t the case here. The studio said that there was no direct contract between it and Gerritsen, nor were New Line and Katja “shell corporations” of WB. The judge agreed and that’s why, for the most part, she granted their motion to dismiss.
Today WB was claiming what sounded like total victory in the matter of the George Clooney and Sandra Bullock Oscar winner. “We are very gratified by the court’s ruling as there is no merit to these claims,” the studio said in a statement Friday sent out to a number of media outlets simultaneously, including those claiming exclusive on today’s order. “As the plaintiff herself has admitted, ‘Yea, Gravity is a great film, but it’s not based on my book.’ ”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.