Cast your mind back four years and, if you’re of a certain age and had a youth misspent in the company of too much prog-rock (can you have too much? – Ed), then you’ll remember the moment you peered myopically through your 3D glasses at Avatar (2009) and thought “wow, it looks just like a Roger Dean album cover!”
Inconveniently for director James Cameron, dear old Roger Dean has, somewhat belatedly, just noticed the same thing. So much so, that the 68-year old artist has filed a lawsuit for a whopping £30 million. Blimey, go for it Rog. In fact, Dean claims that he approached the Cannes Film Festival with a similar idea in 2005. Of course, Cameron has form on this sort of thing as we seem to remember H. R. Giger getting all funny about not getting a credit for Aliens (1986). Cameron later apologised, citing something to do with “balancing creative impulses” as his reason for the omission. Personally, we wouldn’t mess with anyone who’s got an imagination like Giger.
For those not familiar with Dean’s work, let’s just say that islands floating majestically in the air are a bit of a trope. We’ve checked with the Starburst Legal Department (no you didn’t – Ed) and they reckon that Dean’s case hinges on whether you can copyright a flying island. When pressed further they just shrugged before launching into a diatribe about the 1971 prog album, Fragile, and why it’s the only Yes album that isn’t total and utter tosh. A valid point, you’ll agree. Like most Yes albums, it also has a Roger Dean cover.
If you need to get your Roger Dean knowledge up to speed for the inevitable pub arguments, have a look here: http://www.rogerdean.com/
If you want to see Avatar again, you can jolly well source it yourselves.
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