Midway sued by Mortal Kombat film producer in IP dispute

Undead ScottsmanUndead Scottsman Registered User regular
edited June 2009 in Games and Technology
This has got to be read to be believed
The man who brought Mortal Kombat to the big screen has sued Midway in U.S. Bankruptcy Court over what he claims are his intellectual property interests in the franchise. The suit may interfere with a proposed $33 million sale of Midway assets to Warner Bros.

In a complaint filed yesteday, Lawrence Kasanoff, through his company, Threshold Entertainment, asked the Court to preserve his IP rights including copyrights to certain MK series characters. Kasanoff also wants to retain the right to create derivative film and television projects based on the popular fighting game franchise.

Kasanoff claims that it was he who made Mortal Kombat more than just a video game:

In 1993, Kasanoff visited Midway... with an idea to launch the Mortal Kombat concept in a totally new direction. Specifically, Kasanoff proposed to develop... a full feature-length motion picture, a television series, and other productions. Midway was initially skeptical, as Kasanoff's idea was revolutionary at the time...

The Mortal Kombat series, as it stands today, is far more a creation of Threshold and Kasanoff than of Midway. Midway's creative input was almost entirely limited to the videogames. On their own, the videogames provided only minimal back-story and mythology, and only flat, "stock" characters... Kasanoff and Threshold were responsible for virtually all of the creative input that went into turning the videogame concept into a multimedia enterprise.

In his lawsuit, Kasanoff also claims credit for making MK characters like Liu Kang, Sonya Blade and Scorpion into recognizable names. The suit estimates that the franchise has grossed more than $4 billion over the years.

In petitioning the Bankruptcy Court, Kasanoff seeks to block the proposed sale of Mortal Kombat assets to Warner Bros.
Source: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/06/25/mortal-kombat-film-producer-sues-midway-over-ip-rights

This has got to be the absolutely most frivolous IP related lawsuit I've ever seen.

So much wrong. Firstly, he hasn't done SHIT with the Mortal Kombat franchise in 10 years (the last thing being a mediocre TV series that lasted a season) and he was responsible for the god awful Annihilation movie. Second of all, I'd argue that Mortal Kombat has managed to keep going just fine without any movies or TV shows going on in the past decade, and I'd also argue that Mortal Kombat's biggest surge of popularity was from BEFORE the movie existed. (In fact, it was that popularity that made the movie a viable idea to begin with.) I also like how he had the "unprecedented" idea to make the franchise into a movie. I'm sure.

I think my favorite part is the bit about how "On their own, the videogames provided only minimal back-story and mythology, and only flat, "stock" characters..." Did Kasanoff not actually SEE the movies he made? They had exactly as much mythology, backstory and characterization as the videogames they were based on. (Except for where they had LESS, like with Scorpion and Sub-Zero in the first flick)

Ultimately, however, the silliest fucking thing here is the fact that he's hooting and holloring about fucking MORTAL KOMBAT. Are you really THAT hard up for money Kasanoff?

Undead Scottsman on


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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    This is fucking amazing. His whole case is based on, "I was going to make Mortal Kombat into something HUGE! I HAD IDEAS!"

    Edit - His IMDB profile is amazing. CHUD 2: Bud the Chud

    Henroid on
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    The Dude With HerpesThe Dude With Herpes Lehi, UTRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Yeah, when I read the news blurb for this it was completely bizarre.

    Chris Columbus should totally sue J.K.Rowling over the rights to Harry Potter.

    Because it wasn't shit before he came along.


    The Dude With Herpes on
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    UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I've been hearing rumors about a third Mortal Kombat for so long. I remember I used to get excited when I'd go to the IMDb page for it and see Christopher Lambert listed in the credits. Sad to know that will likely never come to pass.

    Also, the television show was actually pretty entertaining. I would have loved to see more than one season of it.

    UnbreakableVow on
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