CHICAGO (CN) – The Croatian author who claims Angelina Jolie based her movie “In the Land of Blood and Honey” on his book, must pursue his claims in federal court in Los Angeles, a judge ruled.
James Braddock sued Angelina Jolie and GK Films claiming that “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” written, directed and co-produced by Jolie, was based partly on his 2007 book “The Soul Shattering.”
Released in 2011, “In the Land of Blood and Honey” takes place during the Bosnian War. The movie tells the story of a romance between a Serbian soldier and a Bosnian woman held captive in a Serbian camp.
According to Braddock, Jolie copied his book when she was doing research for her film in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Braddock’s book was written and published in Croatian, and was translated into English at an unspecified date.
Braddock claimed that he met Edin Sarkic, a co-producer of the movie, and co-defendant in this case, three times in 2008 to discuss his book, “including plot and character development and the story’s cultural significance and historical accuracy.”
The distributor of the movie, co-defendant FilmDistrict Distribution, moved to transfer the case from federal court in Chicago to in Los Angeles.
U.S. District Judge Robert Dow Jr. granted the motion, finding that all the relevant witnesses and documents reside in California or overseas.
“Based on Plaintiff’s own allegations, he does not presently live in Illinois, nor has he ever lived or worked in Illinois, and none of the events relevant to Plaintiff’s claim against these Defendants are alleged to have occurred in Illinois. On the other hand, the Central District of California is the situs of several material events, including where the firm was partly written, edited, produced and where most of the decisions related to marketing and distribution were made,” Dow said.
The judge added, “The only relevant document that may not be currently located in California is a copy of Plaintiff’s book, which may be easily obtained through discovery from Plaintiff. Furthermore, because the film was written, directed, and produced in California and abroad, Illinois does not have any overriding concerns to have its law applied to this dispute.”