Fantastic Fest

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Astropia VS. Heroes, there can be only one!

We were in the loop yesterday as the great Heroes/Astropia battle of 2009 began to develop. Everyone knows NBC's hit show Heroes, but if you didn't attend Fantastic Fest 2008, you may not be aware of the Icelandic nerd opus Astropia, one of the most successful Icelandic films of all time. The producers emailed us a link to a scene from an upcoming episode of Heroes that has a very familiar look, feel and tone to a key moment in the Astropia storyline.

Swarez over at Twitch film has broken the story and now has the Heroes clip and the Astropia clip side by side on the site. I can't personally say for sure whether the Heroes writing pool got their inspiration from Astropia or it's just a case of eerie coincidence. In any event, check out the story at Twitch, watch both of the clips and you be the judge. We'll update you if the Icelandic annoyance swells to actual legal fisticuffs.


  • At 12:13 PM , Blogger John said...

    Idiots. Absolute idiots. The real story here is the ubermensch attitude that brought Iceland to its knees (financially and morally) in the last few months and the lengths it can go to. Now is the time, apparently, for failed Icelandic entrepreneurs to resort to legal action to keep their ego afloat. Watching both clips, side by side...they have NOTHING to do with one another, except for the fact that a pretty girl is applying for a job in a comic book store (amongst nerds & geeks..."Big Bang Theory" anyone!?). The essence of the Icelandic film "Astrópía" is the heroine's drift into the fantastic, away from reality (a ripoff of the largely successful "NeverEnding Story" back in the 1980s), whereas the storyline of "Heroes," currently, is that Claire is hiding her identity amongst people who are familiar with her kind in stories of the fantastic, which they experience through portals of imagination vice her ability to experience in reality.
    This is a blatant attempt by Icelandic producers Ingvar Þórðarson and Júlíus Kemp to attempt to squeeze money out of the NBC machine. To further see the truth behind their claims, the following could be read in Fréttablaðið on March 14th, 2009 (page 62), as follows: "Lögfræðingar þeirra í Bandaríkjunum meti þó möguleika þeirra nokkuð sterka þar í landi, í það minnsta hafi þeir fallist á að vinna að málsókninni launalaust en gegn því að fá hluta af mögulegum ÁGÓÐA. Það verður að teljast gott fyrir Íslenska kvikmyndagerðarmenn því kostnaðurinn við að koma slíkri málsókn af stað getur numið 15-20 milljónum króna. Og það er BARA BYRJUNIN." This translates as follows: "Their lawyers in the United States have faith in their case being strong [in the U.S.], at least to the effect that they have decided to build a case for them pro bono, as long as they receive a portion of the POSSIBLE PROFITS. This should be considered pretty good for Icelandic filmmakers because the fees for building such a case could be about 15-20 million Icelandic Krónur. And that's just THE BEGINNING."
    What they are in actuality saying (and the way the story is being brought to the public in Iceland, currently) is that this frivolous lawsuit against a successful endeaveor like "Heroes" is a feather in the hat of Icelandic filmmakers, painting them as David to NBC's Goliath. Pathetic. This might have had some merit if their film, which arguably was well-made and interesting, had been ORIGINAL to begin with. Someone who "creates" a film/piece of work like "Astrópía" should be careful about accusing others of plagiarism, when not an original idea is in sight. If there is any foundation for their claims of their idea being "lifted," then it should be mentioned that their own film is BUILT on the foundation of "lifting" from other works of sci-fi/fantasy so that it can even make sense. The film itself is a GIANT "lift" from other sources! Just look at the promotional poster for the film (maybe George Lucas would have a thing or two to ask them about). Grow may stumble onto an ORIGINAL idea along the way.


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