Hollywood lawsuits -- Anne Rice, Ken Wahl, and ''America's Most Wanted'' are being sued
Kodiak Films is suing actor Ken Wahl, best known for TV’s Wiseguy, for breach of contract and fraud. The firm was set to coproduce S.I.S., an action adventure with Wahl as the lead. Kodiak says it signed a preliminary contract with Wahl and gave him a $25,000 option payment. Wahl’s total compensation was set at $750,000. Wahl informed Kodiak on May 20, 1991, that he would ”not provide his services in the picture.” Kodiak claims Wahl’s exit from the picture violated the early contract and is suing for $3 million.
Fox Broadcasting and America’s Most Wanted are facing a slander lawsuit from Zak Crandall, an L.A. freelance set designer. Crandall claims the Oct. 26, 1990, episode of the show used his picture in a story on teenage runaways, making him look like a dishonest and homeless person. He’s asking for at least $30,000 in general damages and $100,000 in punitive damages.
Exclusive rights to Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear have been offered — apparently by two companies, which makes for a real hassle. Island Pictures is suing Hanna Barbera for, among other things, breach of contract and unfair competition. Island says it owns distribution rights to the movie through an April 1991 deal with Atlantic Entertainment Group. When Island offered the movie to the Disney Channel, Island discovered that Disney already had rights to the movie via a deal with Hanna Barbera and another defendent, Worldvision Enterprises.
Two producers, Konigsberg International Inc. and the Sanitsky Company, are suing author Anne Rice (The Witching Hour) for breach of contract. The producers say that in 1987, over lunch, Rice agreed to write a novel about a nonhorrific mummy that would be made into a TV movie, film, or mini-series. They claim they paid Rice $50,000 for a 259-page treatment (which she delivered in 1988), then drew up a final contract. The suit alleges that Rice refused to sign the contract but kept the $50,000, along with the copyright for the book, which has become a best-seller. The producers want exclusive ownership of the film and TV rights, plus general and punitive damages.