Director Of Thriller Video To Sue Michael Jacksonby Contributor | | 29 January 2009
John Landis, the director of Michael Jackson's legendary Thriller video, is suing the King of Pop over a share of profits from the landmark promo.
Lawyers for the American Werewolf in London director claim for at least four years he has not received the 50 per cent share of profits reportedly owed to him by Jackson's defunct production company Optimum.
The suit, filed at Los Angeles Superior Court and reproduced on entertainment website The Wrap, comes soon after plans for a Thriller musical were announced.
Landis' lawyers argue he is entitled to profits from recent marketing of the 14-minute video and an accompanying 'making of' documentary.
"After a spectacular theatrical premier, the Thriller Video became a worldwide mega-hit and an iconic pop culture phenomenon that has continued to generate profits for defendants Optimum Productions and Michael Jackson, who have wrongfully refused to pay or account for such profits to the plaintiff," the suit states.
It alleges that both Jackson and Optimum failed to provide "an honest, accurate, timely, full and complete annual accounting of the net profits earned in connection with the Thriller video and documentary".
Landis, the helmer of The Blues Brothers and Coming to America, is also seeking damages for allegedly "fraudulent, malicious and oppressive conduct", on the part of Optimum.