John Landis sues Michael Jackson
Jan 28, 2009, 9:05 GMT
Filmmaker John Landis - who was hired by Jackson to create the werewolf-themed promo because of his work on horror classic \'An American Werewolf in London\' - is taking the former \'King of Pop\' to court to reclaim four years of unpaid royalties. EPA/PAUL BUCK
Michael Jackson is being sued by the creator of his iconic 'Thriller' music video.
Filmmaker John Landis - who was hired by Jackson to create the werewolf-themed promo because of his work on horror classic 'An American Werewolf in London' - is taking the former 'King of Pop' to court to reclaim four years of unpaid royalties.
Landis and Jackson allegedly signed a contract in 1983, granting Landis 50 per cent of all profits earned from the video.
In court documents, Landis - who co-wrote and directed the classic 14-minute promo - accuses the troubled singer of "fraudulent, malicious and oppressive conduct".
He claims Jackson has failed to "provide any accounting of the 'Thriller' profits for the past four years and earlier, and failed to pay Landis his 50 per cent cut of the net proceeds".
Official documents don't specify how much Landis is owed, but it is thought to be around $1 million.
Landis' lawyer insists legal action was taken as a last resort.
He said: "I can't understand what they are doing to John Landis' company. It is such a straight-ahead thing. It makes no sense at all to me."
Jackson is currently working with the Nederland Organisation to make a Broadway musical based on the horror-themed video, which sees a young couple go on a date only for the boy to transform into a werewolf.