Ontario author George Newberry claims that the idea for Arnold Schwarzenegger's movie "End of Days" was stolen from a him.
(Walter Rihcard Weis/Staff photographer)
ONTARIO - A local author's book that claims a movie starring California's governor was based on stolen ideas is back in publication.
George Newberry's publisher shelved "The Devil's Reign" a couple of years ago, after he refused to remove several statements about Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But after legal action, the publisher - Indiana-based Author House - determined Newberry has the documentation to back up his claims and agreed to put out an updated version of the 2005 book.
The two finalized a settlement earlier this month.
"Everything that was in (the book) before is still in there," said Newberry, 66, a retired Ontario resident.
In the book, Newberry details what he said are his true experiences, including a series of supernatural events decades ago that convinced him society had fallen under sway of the devil.
Feeling the need to warn others, he first tried to craft a novel, then started working on a screenplay instead in 1991. But after paying $20,000 for questionable rewrites, Newberry's movie idea went nowhere.
Until 1999, that is, when Newberry heard about "End of Days," he said. The film, starring Schwarzenegger, contains enough similarities to suggest it was ripped off from his ideas, Newberry said.
It's that claim, addressed in "The Devil's Reign," that worried his publisher. Newberry said the assertion wasn't an issue until after he traveled to Sacramento in 2005 and hand-delivered a copy of his book to the governor's office.
He believes the Schwarzenegger administration had something to do with getting the book pulled.
"It was on the market for three months without any problems," Newberry said. "The only problem came up after Arnold Schwarzenegger got a copy of it."
An Author House official declined to comment on the claim.
"I'm not saying we were contacted, and I'm not saying we weren't contacted," said Eugene Hopkins, client-services manager at Author House.
After months of working with the publisher's legal department, they determined his statements in the book weren't libelous, Newberry said.
He said the publisher "bent over backwards" and said he was completely satisfied with their handling of the situation. Both Newberry and officials at Author House declined to discuss the specifics of the settlement arrangement.
"We're very pleased that George has got his book out," Hopkins said. "We hope he does well. It'll be a win-win for both of us."
Staff writer Jason Newell can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (909) 483-9338.