Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Michael Jackson Sued by John Landis

Remember that Thriller musical we told you about yesterday? Seems Michael Jackson already has a sequel in the works.
This one will be playing out not on Broadway, however, but in a Los Angeles courtroom.
John Landis, the filmmaker whose credits include Animal House, The Blues Brothers and Trading Places, is suing over another one of his best-known hits—Jackson's "Thriller" video. Landis says Jackson owes him big bucks in royalties for the classic 14-minute clip.
Per the complaint, filed in L.A. Superior Court last week and obtained by E! News, the 58-year-old filmmaker accuses the 50-year-old Moonwalker of "fraudulent, malicious and oppressive conduct" for failing to fork over a check.
Landis says he's due 50 percent of the net profits from the groundbreaking video, which he cowrote and directed, as well as an hourlong "making of" documentary.
The suit doesn't specify the exact amount Landis is owed, but it's thought to be around $1 million. In any case, the legal action comes at a fortuitous time, considering Jackson just sold the rights to the "Thriller" video to theatrical wizards Nederlander Organization, which plans to stage a Broadway musical based on the horror spoof.
Jackson's rep, Dr. Tohme Tohme, was not immediately available for comment.
Speaking to the entertainment site the Wrap, Landis attorney Martin Feldman said the lawsuit was a last resort.
"I can't understand what they are doing to John Landis' company. It is such a straight-ahead thing," he said. "It makes no sense at all to me."