It’s when two or more people, somewhere in the world, get the same idea without any influence from the other. And it happens. It just happened to me.
I opened imdb (The Internet Movie DataBase) today, and saw this:
For those who’ve read my story The Thylacine, you may know where I’m going with this.
If not, allow me to explain: I wrote a story in early 2010 featuring a man (“The Seeker”) with the exact same goal as this film. Mine is a story where “A wannabe tracker heads to the land down under in search of the believed-extinct Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine.” This movie is where “Martin, a mercenary, is sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger.”
Not exactly the same thing, but close enough to make my heart stop. No, I don’t think I was plagiarized. No, I haven’t seen this movie or read the book it’s based on (which Amazon tells me was published a decade before I wrote my story, so it’s a moot point from my end). But as an unproduced writer, it leaves me feeling eclipsed every time I experience parallel development.
What’s to learn from this? Not much. Other than, don’t go screaming through the streets that someone stole your idea. Ever. It almost never happens. It may make finding a market for my story that much harder, but I can take some comfort in knowing that I had a very marketable idea. And for you? Enjoy the story, enjoy the film, enjoy the book. I’m sure they’re all three very differently executed, so why not have three different forms of enjoyment?
Official website for the film: http://www.thehuntermovie.com