Peter Jackson
Credit: Peter Jackson: Tammie Arroyo/AP

Peter Jackson is suing New Line, claiming that the distributor shorted him by ”self-dealing” — selling off Lord of the Rings broadcast and other rights to other Time Warner subsidiaries at below-market prices. New Line says he’s been paid in accordance with his contract; Jackson claims he’s owed as much as $100 million more, making you wonder how much he’s been paid already. (Full disclosure: is also part of Time Warner.)

On the one hand, it’s not the first time a filmmaker has sued a Time Warner studio over a ”self-dealing” complaint; William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty filed a similar lawsuit against Warner Bros. over the 2000 release of the director’s cut of The Exorcist. On the other hand, $100 million? Even for a guy who scored the highest upfront fee ever offered a director ($20 million for King Kong) that’s a lot of Purina Giant Ape Chow.

I don’t know whether it’s fair, but I love this quote, from a New Line litigator: ”New Line already gave him enough money to rebuild Baghdad, but it’s still not enough for him.” Maybe both parties can set aside their differences and blame everything on Sauron.

addCredit(“Peter Jackson: Tammie Arroyo/AP”)