Pennywise the Clown is at it again, now causing legal problems instead of just, like, luring children to their deaths with red balloons and stuff.
A producer behind the original It TV miniseries is suing Warner Bros., per Variety, claiming the studio breached his contract by making the film adaptations, It and It: Chapter Two, without him.
Producers Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky originally snagged the rights to the Stephen King novel back in the early 1980s while they were heading up Telepictures. The duo developed a miniseries adaptation for ABC, but left Telepictures after it merged with Lorimar.
When the miniseries first aired in 1990, both producers were given credit.
But the lawsuit says they inked a deal with Lorimar granting them the titles of “non-exclusive executive producers,” which means they get rights and involvement in any sequel, spinoff or remake of the miniseries, which they argue includes the two film remakes.
Sanitsky is claiming that Warner Bros. stopped forking over profit statements for the miniseries back in 1995, and when the studio issued its first participation statement since then in March, it showed that Warner Bros. owed the two $1 million—a number Sanitsky says is significantly understated. He also alleges Warner Bros. never consulted him or Konigsberg about either film.
Released in 2017, It was met with fiery critical and commercial success, grossing a whopping $700 million worldwide. It: Chapter 2 is still revving up for its September release, but it’s also expected to rake in the box-office dollars.
The suit alleges that Sanitsky and Konigsberg should get 10% of that cash and of the net profits of any remake of It. So far, that lump sum would amount to tens of millions.
Konigsberg, who died in 2016 at the age of 83, may not be around to claim those profits, but Sanitsky is taking Warner Bros. to court in his stead, pursuing the case through their c partnership’s corporate entities, which will be repped by Dale Kinsella of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump and Aldisert.
Konigsberg and Sanitsky produced the TV adaptation of The Tommyknockers in the early ‘90s. Sanitsky is currently working on a film adaptation of the same project.