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Hurt Locker aims to defuse court row

The Oscar-winning director and screenwriter of The Hurt Locker are asking a judge to dismiss an Iraq war veteran's lawsuit alleging the film is based on him.

Lawyers for director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal say that Master Sergeant Jeffrey Sarver cannot prove he is the basis for the bomb technician in the film.

They also argue in papers filed in court that the award-winning movie is protected by the First Amendment.

The film's producers have also asked to have the lawsuit dismissed.

The case was filed in March 2010, just days before Bigelow, Boal and the film won Academy Awards.

According to court documents, M/Sgt Sarver is currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Boal was embedded with M/Sgt Sarver's unit in Iraq in 2004 and wrote a story for Playboy, 'The Man In The Bomb Suit', which profiled the West Virginia native.

In a sworn declaration, Boal writes that he interviewed more than 50 military personnel who work in bomb disposal units and that the lead character, William James, is a composite of many of them.

"William James is a fictional character that is a product of my imagination," Boal wrote.

hnews@herald.ie