“MOTHER, MAY I?” Will Sophia Stewart ever get her just desserts?
Your answer, of course, is contingent upon whether or not you believe the controversial so-called “urban myth” surrounding Ms. Stewart, who claims to be the mastermind behind the billion dollar franchises of The Matrix and Terminator, and not the famed Wachowskis and the Warner Brothers’ movie mecca.
Sophia Stewart’s story is as epic as the blockbuster movies themselves, and although you would be hard pressed to find a morsel about this in the “established” mainstream media for the last 15 years, you’ll find a treasure trove of information on the web via blog sites, YouTube videos, downloadable court document pdfs, and even Stewart’s original manuscript, ‘The Third Eye’ — that she alleges both The Matrix and Terminator were adapted from — available for sale on Amazon.com. What’s more intriguing is she’s just completed a screenplay called — you guessed it! (or not) –‘The Matrix 4, which she is shopping around looking for a producers for.
Now it’s important to note that Ms. Stewart, who is African-American and a professed writer, is not claiming that she is responsible for the success of the action-packed science fiction sagas and the millions of dollars worth of off-shoots such as video games, comic books, action figure dolls and animated shorts, etc. What she does insists upon is that her ideas were stolen from her, then used without permission, credit, or financial compensation. She seeks acknowledgement from the courts of her ownership of the ideas for the movies, legal and binding ownership under the protection of the Intellectual Property Law which deals with the rules for securing and enforcing legal rights to inventions, designs, and artistic works. Just as the law protects ownership of personal property and real estate, it also protects the exclusive control of intangible assets, like an idea for, let’s say … a science-fiction action drama. A common thread among many of the online forums discussing the case, is that Stewart could not take credit for the movies whatsoever because it wasn’t the plot that made them successful, it was the action. This point is moot and misses the entire crux of Ms. Stewart’s claims.
What Stewart claims, is that in June, 1981 she submitted her legally copyrighted and otherwise legally documented 6 page manuscript entitled, “The Third Eye”, to 2oth Century Fox – Productions (now owned by Warner Brothers) for consideration. She
received a rejection letter but shortly afterwards got a callback from a representative of the company, expressing an interest in her story and asking to see more of her work, which she was unable to provide until 1983, when she completed a more fleshed-out screenplay treatment. She submitted this revised work to Century-Fox. After no response for two years, Sophia, through her agent, sent the manuscript out once more, this time receiving a rejection letter from a different representative (see letter communiques below).
Speed ahead about 14 years later, in 1999, when the first MATRIX film was released and Stewart realizes that her work has been appropriated by the Wachowskis. She filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement in 2003 against them, Warner Bros., Joel Silver (Producer of ‘The Matrix”), Village Roadshow Entertainment, James Cameron (Director of ‘The Terminator’, Gale Ann Hurd (Producer for ‘The Terminator’) and THE TERMINATOR franchise.
A BRIEF BIO OF WRITER SOPHIA STEWART FROM THE NET
- Received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in journalism and minors in law and psychology from the City University of New York.
- While attending the University, studied under authors Max Segal a former journalist of the New York Times. Publisher, editor, essayist, and critic, Emile Capouya, and Paul Cherry, a playwright for Broadway.
- Served as an intern for television at the Public Broadcasting Station WNET Thirteen, where she worked with Oscar winning film documentary producer, Perry Miller Adato.
- Studied cinema at the University of Southern California (USC) where she had the opportunity to study film under the auspices of producer Leon Roth, father of Eric Roth, screenwriter of the movie Forrest Gump.
- By the early 80’s started writing professionally. An association with entertainer Janet Jackson involved Stewart in a special project that enabled her to write her first television scripts entitled “My Special Love” and “Blue Short.” During this period Ms. Stewart also had the opportunity to work at Columbia Pictures in the office of Vice President Dick Berres. It was at Columbia Pictures where Dick Berres supported her aspirations to write and gave Sophia five first draft scripts. One was called “From Here to Eternity.”
SOME FACT FINDING
In a 2014 interview with L3 Magazine writer Natasha Von Castle, Stewart talked about the content, meaning and symbolism of her story “The Third Eye”:
NVC: Sophia! For you to write not one , but two stories that have impacted the technological geeks who also understand the spiritual message presented, and who also connect with concept tat we are being controlled by the system or, machines is beyond human [sic]. How did the concept of The Matrix and Terminator come to you?
SS: I have to tell you that the Matrix and Terminator are actually 2 stories, but one phenomenal story. There was so much work; a script treatment and work, that it was divided to become 2 great movie franchises (by Warner Brothers my addition)
Once you write a book, such as JR Tolkien (Lord of The Rings) and John Grisham (The Firm and Pelican Brief) Hollywood has a way of doing what they want with an author’s work, they have a history of doing that, and that’s what they did with this. Hollywood will buy the work or steal the work; they are not people who go out and write the stuff. If they could write it they wouldn’t buy or steal it.
“How it originally began is Sarah Connor was originally Neo’s mother, he was an anagram and this was my way of calling him ‘the one’. What I wrote was the second coming of Christ and the evolution of consciousness which is man versus the machine. In other words its the revelation plight story caught up in science fiction form. When you look at John Connor, JC, is Jesus Christ. He grows up to be Neo in the Matrix.” ~ Sophia Stewart
Matrix is the Latin word meaning coming out of the womb, and Matrix is mentioned 5 times in the bible. The first (Exodus 34 verse 19) says: all that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among they cattle, whether ox or sheep that is male. The reason why this is important is because God knew that in the future man would have the knowledge of God, and would create his own children – without souls. These children are born in petri dishes, test tubes, artificial insemination etc., and its only out of a mother’s womb can a child have a soul, and that’s what God wants.
What makes a woman a woman is a womb. No many how many hormones and operations they create, a man can never become a woman. This is how God’s (my emphasis) children are born.
“When you look at the Terminator, you will know that there is no way James Cameron or anyone else could have written that book. Think about the Cyborgs, the micro-chip, the machine — I was born in the digital era, I was inspired by God to write what I wrote. The first coming of Christ is written about in the Bible, and the second coming, which is referred to in Revelations, is what I visualized and that’s what you see in the movie Terminator. The idea is John Connor would go up against the machines which is what was going to come in the future. These stories were meant to be viewed from the point of view of Christ.” ~ Sophia Stewart
NVC: After you wrote your book ‘The Third Eye’ in 1981 (which is the basis for The Matrix and Terminator), what did you do? Was it published and sold in book stores, did you send it to film studios? Where did it go?
SS: It was copyrighted in 1981,1983 and 1984, then I shopped it to 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures with a script. I went to film school, have a degree in journalism and have a double degree in law, so I was familiar with the process of how submissions work.
NVC: Where was the case filed against the movie company?
SS: It was filed in Utah. I happened to be in Utah at the time, although I am originally from New York. I was there visiting family when I first discovered the theft of the Matrix movie — March 31st, 1999. Right away I got in touch with Warner Brothers, and they connected me to the in-house attorney and told him to pay me. There was no opposition and there was no rejection to the fact that it was my work. Most of what was written in the media were lies. I have the transcripts where they tell Judge Morrow that they stole The Matrix from me 18 odd years ago. Everything is there. They wanted the judge to gag me as part of the settlement, in essence saying that if I talk about the case they can take the money back. I said no. This is what they do, and this is why a lot of people don’t talk about their cases.
source: L3 Magazine
NOT FOR NOTHING, but it’s a bit suspicious that the Wachowskis, being the writers of the Matrix, could not be found anywhere in mainstream or streaming media explaining to their legions of fans (I, for one) the plot of the movie? Lord knows hundreds of forum sites were created to fill the void.
Since The Matrix and its sequels, the Wachowskis had not produced any other original work until 2015, their adaptation of Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta , which decidedly lacked Matrix’s depth. Their adaptation of manga series Speed Racer  was totally questionable and then shortly thereafter forgettable, the adaptation of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas  seemed promising, as it wrestled with some interesting motifs, but very messy. Then in 2015 we get Jupiter Ascending billed as an “American–Australian space opera” written, produced, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski. Laughable, but not in an entertaining manner.
So, is it plausible that the Wachowski’s did not devise one of THE most successful, provocative and well-structured original science fiction franchises going and that in 1986 a single African-American female, Bronx native mother of two who worked part-time as a writer while further supporting her family by working as a paralegal and tax preparer in Los Angeles — submitted a copyrighted manuscript with a captivating storyline following an advertised industry call for original science fictional work, only to have it stolen and years later in 1999, recognize its adaption into a major blockbuster movie?…
Well, what I can say without doubt is, Everything is plausible.
Finally, there’s this. On the blog Movie Logs (Mostly), a website dedicated to movie news, reviews and trivia, the author directs your attention to a certain passage in The Matrix Revolution, the third and final sequel, that was much too similar to an excerpt from Stewart’s original manuscript The Third Eye to be considered even remotely coincidental;
“…there is a passage in Sophia Stewart’s 1986 manuscript that is nearly a beat-for-beat explanation of a scene in a film that would be produced seventeen years later – The Matrix Revolutions. Its specificity warrants replication to avoid confusion in paraphrasing and I will also attach key scenes from The Matrix Revolutions to illustrate the similarity.
source: Movie Logs (Mostly)