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Round 2: New Line Cinema vs LOTR’s Peter Jackson
January 10th, 2007 under Lawsuits. [ Comments: none ]

In the latest comment in the controversy surrounding a proposed movie based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, New Line head Robert Shaye told SCI FI Wire in no uncertain terms that the studio won’t work with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson on that film or any other film. Ever. At least not as long as Shaye is in charge. Shaye’s comments marked the first time a New Line executive has commented publicly on the fracas since Jackson announced that he has pulled out of the project and also appears to harden New Line’s position against Jackson. "I do not want to make a movie with somebody who is suing me," Shaye—New Line’s chief executive officer—said in an interview on Jan. 5 while promoting The Last Mimzy, a New Line family fantasy that marks his first time in a director’s chair since 1990’s Book of Love. "It will never happen during my watch." Jackson had told in November that he and partner Fran Walsh were bowing out after New Line, which produced the Rings films and has production rights to The Hobbit, told them the studio was moving ahead with the project without them. Jackson has said he won’t discuss The Hobbit until a lawsuit against New Line over Rings accounting practices was settled. As far as Shaye is concerned, Jackson is no longer welcome. "There’s a kind of arrogance," Shaye said. "Not that I don’t think Peter is a good filmmaker and that he hasn’t contributed significantly to filmography and made three very good movies. And I don’t even expect him to say ‘thank you’ for having me make it happen and having New Line make it happen. But to think that I, as a functionary in [a] company that has been around for a long time, but is now owned by a very big conglomerate, would care one bit about trying to cheat the guy, … he’s either had very poor counsel or is completely misinformed and myopic to think that I care whether I give him [anything]." Shaye, who was also an executive producer on the Rings films, added: "He got a quarter of a billion dollars paid to him so far, justifiably, according to contract, completely right, and this guy, who already has received a quarter of a billion dollars, turns around without wanting to have a discussion with us and sues us and refuses to discuss it unless we just give in to his plan. I don’t want to work with that guy anymore. Why would I? So the answer is he will never make any movie with New Line Cinema again while I’m still working for the company." Shaye said that many of the Rings trilogy actors "suddenly, because, I’m guessing, of Peter’s complaint," have declined to participate in celebrating New Line’s 40th anniversary. "I’m incredibly offended," he said. "I don’t care about Peter Jackson anymore. He wants to have another $100 million or $50 million, whatever he’s suing us for. He doesn’t want to sit down and talk about it. He thinks that we owe him something after we’ve paid him over a quarter of a billion dollars. … Cheers, Peter." New Line’s hardened position against Jackson isn’t the end of the story, of course. MGM, which owns the distribution rights to The Hobbit, on Nov. 20 told Variety through a spokesman that "the matter of Peter Jackson directing the Hobbit films is far from closed." In his own online statement, Jackson said that New Line executive Mark Ordesky, who shepherded the Rings trilogy, argued that New Line is dumping Jackson because the studio has a "limited time option" on the film rights, obtained from Saul Zaentz.

Sci Fi Wire

I wonder how Peter Jackson feels to have something in common with Tom Cruise. It still amazes that me that he won an Oscar because I have seen his earier releases, but then again if Susan Saradon can do it any one can


Evil Knievel is suing Kanye West for copying his look
December 12th, 2006 under Lawsuits. [ Comments: none ]

Retired daredevil Evel Knievel is suing Kanye West, claiming the rapper ripped off his trademarked look in a recent music video in which the performer, using the handle "Evel Kanyevel," wears a red, white, and blue jumpsuit during a failed rocket ride over a gorge. Knievel, 68, charges that West copied his look down to a distinctive "EK" belt buckle in the video for "Touch The Sky," a single off his hit album "Late Registration." An excerpt from Knievel’s trademark infringement lawsuit, which was filed last Friday in U.S. District Court in Tampa, Florida, can be found below. Included as an exhibit to the complaint is a copy of a September 1974 Sports Illustrated cover showing Knievel–who was then preparing to jump Idaho’s Snake River Canyon on a rocket-powered contraption–in his trademark jumpsuit. As seen in the video still at right, the 29-year-old West’s outfit appears to be modeled on the Knievel threads. The lawsuit, which does not specify monetary damages, also names as defendants West’s record label and Chris Milk, director of the video, which debuted on MTV in February.

The Smoking Gun (check out TSG to read the lawsuit)

I think Evil has a case, don’t you?


Olivia Newton-John wants Universal to Grease her palm
December 5th, 2006 under Lawsuits. [ Comments: none ]

Lawsuit is the word: Olivia Newton-John is suing Universal Music Group Inc. for allegedly failing to pay more than $1 million in royalties on sales of the "Grease" soundtrack album. Newton-John starred with John Travolta in the 1978 movie version of the Broadway hit. The breach-of-contract suit was filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior court. It contends that while Universal did pay some royalties on the album, it failed to make a range of other contractual payments, said John Mason, an attorney for Newton-John. According to the suit, a recent audit showed Universal owes more than $1 million to Newton-John’s company, ON-J Productions, Ltd. "The lawsuit is without merit and, at the appropriate time, we expect that the court will dismiss it," Universal said in a statement Tuesday.


What took her people so long to realize they owe her a million?


Heavy D wants his blood money back
October 31st, 2006 under Lawsuits, Unadmirable People. [ Comments: none ]

Rapper Heavy D has sued his former insurance company for $1.5 million he says it owes him after the fatal stampede at a 1991 City College celebrity basketball event. The rapper, whose real name is Dwight Myers, had helped organize the event, and has since paid out $791,899 to settle lawsuits, court papers say. He’s suing for that, plus interest and legal fees, claiming that his $1 million insurance policy should have indemnified him. Nine students were crushed to death after 5,000 young people showed up at a gym capable of holding only half that number.

NY Post

What took him so long to file the lawsuit? For those of you who do not what happened back in 1991, you can read about it in this VH1 article


Kim Basinger/Alec Baldwin takes another nasty turn
October 4th, 2006 under Lawsuits. [ Comments: 1 ]

Kim Basinger is about to be arraigned in criminal court on criminal contempt charges. Former Hubby Alec Baldwin triggered the criminal case by alleging that Kim is guilty of a laundry list of violations in their ongoing custody dispute. Sources tell TMZ that Basinger will plead not guilty through her lawyer, Neal Hersh. The actress will not appear for the arraignment. The former couple has been locked in an epic custody battle over 10-year-old Ireland. Baldwin has alleged Basinger is thwarting his ability to parent. Basinger has said, right back at you, Alec.


This will continue to get uglier and uglier


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