Here’s the news: Stan Lee is suing the producers of the new Conan the Barbarian movie alleging that he bought the rights to the character in 2000 and during the 2001 bankruptcy his attorney made an illegal deal giving away the rights. According to Craveonline.com, the company that bought the rights has been using the character for the last ten years for videogames, comic books and action figures. It makes me wonder why Stan didn’t sue earlier to stop them from using “his” character before. As far as the movie, he wants the rights to the character back plus 100% of the profits of the movie which took in a disappointedly $10 million on its opening weekend.
Putting aside any legitimate legal standings, I’m starting to think Stan Lee’s retirement plan is filing lawsuits against anyone making a movie with any characters he was associated with.
Correction: As one commentor below notes, the lawsuit is being filed by Stan Lee Media, not Stan Lee the individual. Several news stories (including the NY Post story I linked to) make it appear Stan is behind the lawsuits, but most others clarify that it is his old media company.