John Landis now going after 'Thriller' theater production

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John Landis now going after 'Thriller' theater production

Wed Jan 28, 2009 @ 05:19PM PST

By Matthew Belloni

Jackson,michael Last week we noted with mild nausea that Michael Jackson had been sued yet again, this time by director John Landis, who wants his 50% share of proceeds from the legendary "Thriller" music video and documentary.

Now Landis is targeting a planned musical theater production of "Thriller," seeking to stop Jackson and producer Nederlander from proceeding with a project that allegedly would infringe some of Landis's work on the video.

Here's the new "Thriller" complaint for declaratory relief.

Landis is claiming he owns at least 50% of the "separated rights" to the video and documentary, which he says includes the "dramatic rights" to make a musical. Jackson was required to get Landis's permission to do a deal with Nederlander, which he never did, according to the complaint.

The complaint alleges Jackson is getting in the ballpark of $400,000 from Nederlander, which seems low to us but admittedly we're not experts on musical theater rights deals.


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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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