5RoboCop May Be a Rewritten Judge Dredd Movie
RoboCop is an incredibly '80s movie about guns, cocaine, and stop-motion robots in dystopian, crime-ridden Detroit. Its protagonist is an unstoppable, no-nonsense supercop concealed under a suit of armor and a helmet that obscures his eyes and who lives in a world where you shoot first and read Miranda rights later.
But It's Suspiciously Similar To ...
The recent surge in popularity of Judge Dredd thanks to his 2012 feature film should dredge up a few memories for the discerning '80s movie fan. Dredd is a strong, no-nonsense, no-pity cop who cleans up the street, one dirtbag at a time. He keeps his eyes hidden behind a visor and his favorite gun at his hip. His city is a sprawling ghetto, full of the worst kind of lowlifes, corruption, and sickening ultra violence.
We've always assumed Mega-City One was built over old Detroit.
The similarities between the two characters are so striking that, when the new film came out, lots of reviewers praised it or damned it for its similarity to RoboCop. Of course, no such comparisons were drawn from the 1995 Stallone attempt, but then the new version is a much more faithful adaption of the comic book that RoboCop is suggested to have ripped off. Even Karl Urban, who plays Judge Dredd, admits that the film has a lot of RoboCop references, because "RoboCop was obviously inspired by Dredd."
You can even see some direct elements from the comic that have ended up in the movie. Like RoboCop's quote "Come quietly -- or there will be trouble!" which just happened to be the quote on the cover of this copy of the Dredd comic 2000 A.D.
Ah yes, we all remember the year 2000.
It's been rumored for years that the original Judge Dredd script was passed around Hollywood from studio to studio and writer to writer, going through numerous reboots until it became RoboCop. Hell, even Paul Verhoeven said Judge Dredd was an influence on RoboCop (although you'll need to know Dutch to read that). And RoboCop's screenwriter, Ed Neumeier, has admitted that Dredd was at least a partial influence on the character.
In fact, the initial design concept for RoboCop, shown on the DVD extras, has him wearing a Dredd-style helmet at one point until someone opened a dictionary and saw the definition of the word "plagiarism" and decided they should change at least one thing.
4Avatar Bears a Striking Resemblance to a 1980s Comic
For all of its visual achievements, the actual plot of Avatar is fairly standard -- a group of blue-skinned natives on a distant planet are forced to fight back when interstellar humans attempt to knock over their magic tree. The main character is a human male who falls in love with one of the female blue aliens and winds up having to fight off his own people to protect her and her tribe.
But It's Suspiciously Similar To ...
Timespirits was a short-lived Marvel comic series from the '80s created by Stephen Perry, who also created ThunderCats. Timespirits is so obscure that there's not much information available on the actual plot. However, looking at the following panels, it's easy to see that Avatar doesn't just bear a passing resemblance:
The comic book characters have way better pants.
Still not convinced? Here's another comparison:
To fully enjoy, put on a pair of 3D glasses and proceed to bitch about it.
For what little can be recalled about the obscure comic, it seems that a sexy blue cat lady falls in love with a human man while being hunted by soldier types who seem to embody white guilt.
And the very best in earthling hat styles.
Although Timespirits didn't sell very well, enough people have accused Cameron of ripping it off that it should at least raise a few eyebrows. Then again, Avatar has already been accused of ripping off everything from FernGully to Dances With Wolves to other obscure science fiction novels about paraplegics who have their consciousness inserted into alien avatars. But maybe that says a lot more about Cameron's originality than it does about his deviousness.