Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Scarlett Johansson Looks to Avenge Use of Her Name

Though the very latest news featuring Avengers star Scarlett Johansson is about her wearing head-to-toe Saint Laurent at the Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday night, the biggest Johansson hullabaloo may still be to come.

The 28-year-old actress recently embarked on a lawsuit that could upset the creative applecart throughout authordom. According to The Independent:
The American star is challenging writer Grégoire Delacourt, and his publisher JC Lattes, after he described a character in his novel as being her “doppelgänger”, or exact double. The case – if it comes to court – could make legal and literary history.
Despite the author insisting that the comparison is meant as a compliment and tribute to Ms Johansson’s beauty, the actress, famed for her role in Lost In Translation, is demanding compensation and damages from the publisher for the “breach and fraudulent use of personal rights”.
She is also seeking to ban all foreign translations and film adaptations of the book – despite the fact that Scarlett Johansson is the perfect choice of actress for the role of a woman who looks like Scarlett Johansson, this being the most obvious job opportunity in cinema since John Malkovich appeared in Being John Malkovich.
La première chose qu’on regarde (The First Thing We Look At) has been a bestseller in France since its release in mid-March. Author Gregoire Delacourt told Le Figaro that he was stunned when informed of the suit Friday morning. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the author “also noted that he compared the main male character to Ryan Gosling and his boss to Gene Hackman in the book as an almost immediate way to invoke recognition of characteristics for readers.”
“This corresponds with the fantasies of our times. All these famous people live with us,” he said, noting that many personal details of Johansson’s love life have been revealed on the Internet and the public feels as if it knows her. “But I wrote a book of fiction. My character is not Scarlett Johansson, it is Jeanine Foucaprez!”
He describes the novel as an exploration of the “dictatorship of appearances and the true beauty of women,” and says he chose Johansson, currently the face of Dolce & Gabbana and previously Louis Vuitton, because she is considered the “epitome of beauty today.”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

She may be "the epitome of beauty today," but IF her complaint is really as petty as it is described here, then her inner core is the epitome of ugliness. I must relectantly post anonymously since Mr. Johansson clearly has a suit-happy legal team. One thing she has clearly shown with this is that her beauty is a thing of appearance only but that her internal ugliness goes bone deep.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 3:04:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The funny thing is, I found Lost In Translation to be such a crappy and dull film I forgot she was even in it! As for this book dispute, she has a point, a bat-shit crazy point.

Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 10:44:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Katherine Hajer said...

I really don't think this is going to upset the apple-cat throughout authordom. Think about it from a writing point of view: if you want a reference your audience will both understand and agree with, why would you choose a living person whose career is (supposedly) less than half over? What if SJ just isn't your reader's type, or if they admire her beauty but not her films? Suspension of disbelief just came crashing down, not because SJ filed a frivolous lawsuit, but because the writer was too lazy to actually describe the character and instead tried to use a form of shorthand.

There's a reason why Shakespeare tended to compare his heroines either to natural phenomena or to women in classical mythology.

And as for those who are hating on Scarlett Johannson: remember any A lister may as well put an 'Inc.' after their name. She has a brand to protect, and her lawyers are not acting any differently than any corporation's would.

And no, I'm not a fan. I'm not anyone's fan. I just think it was not the best writing choice in the first place, and pearl-clutching about "crimps to creativity" because of the fallout is ridiculous.

Friday, August 9, 2013 at 2:55:00 PM PDT  

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