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Who really wrote The Matrix?

By Nisa Islam Muhammad
Staff Writer | Last updated: Jan 4, 2005 - 6:20:00 PM

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Sophia Stewart
(FinalCall.com) - Screenplay writer Sophia Stewart is adamant that she is the author of the screenplay for the blockbuster movie, The Matrix, and her body of work was stolen. She is suing Warner Brothers, Joel Silver, Andy and Larry Wachowski in Los Angeles’ United States District Court in a case that has been defined as one of the largest suits for damages in the history of the film industry.

The case will be heard July 2005 by a jury to decide if, in fact, the defendants committed copyright infringement and racketeering for allegedly stealing Ms. Stewart’s work and then creating The Matrix. It has been a five-year battle with Ms. Stewart, as a little David against the motion picture industry as the Goliath.

“I’ve won major decisions in the court. I got the FBI involved from the very beginning. The copyright infringement involves two of the biggest movie franchises in film history, The Terminator and The Matrix. They stole my work and I have the evidence to prove it,” Ms. Stewart told The Final Call.

“I was completely blown away when I saw my work on the screen and I knew I hadn’t sold it to anyone. I shopped it around from 1981 to 1985 to Fox and in 1986 to the Wachowski brothers. I have the letters to prove they had access to my work. Fox is lying in federal court when they say they never had access to my work because I have the signed registered returned receipts and a lot of letters of access from them,” she said.

She further explained, “I created an epic—which is a body of work that you can get six or more movies from. The Matrix is a derivative of The Terminator. The Matrix comes from the future part of the epic.”

The book is called “The Third Eye” and is an epic science fiction manuscript with copyrights dating back to 1981.

“After viewing Star Wars, I thought, no one has done a science fiction version of the Second Coming of Christ, the foretelling of his Second Coming,” she said.

While Ms. Stewart was shopping her manuscript around, she also sent it to the Wachowski brothers in response to an ad looking for a science fiction manuscript to create a comic book.

During the FBI investigation, it was discovered that, in an effort to avoid liability, 30 minutes or more was edited from the original Matrix film. Further witnesses employed at Warner Brothers came forward claiming that the executives and lawyers had full knowledge that the work in question did not belong to the Wachowski brothers as they claimed.

The witnesses also added that the original work of Ms. Stewart had been seen, and often used during preparation of the motion pictures. During a Sept. 27 court proceeding, United States District Judge Margaret Morrow ruled against several motions made by the defendants in their attempt to get the suits against them dismissed.

The investigation done by the FBI not only established Ms. Stewart as the writer of The Matrix, but also surprisingly The Terminator. If she wins the case with her mounting piles of evidence, Ms. Stewart will receive damages in what may be one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood. The Terminator and its sequels, along with The Matrix and its sequels, have gross receipts totaling over $2.5 billion.

“Some people can’t believe a Black woman wrote The Matrix or The Terminator. I didn’t write it with my skin; I wrote it with my brain,” says Ms. Stewart. “Since when did skin color have anything to do with intelligence, like rich and powerful has nothing to do with theft. The poor steal because they’re needy; the rich steal because they’re greedy.”

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