SANTA MONICA (CN) – Michael Jackson cheated director John Landis of his 50% share of profits from the “Thriller” video for the past 4 years, Landis’ representative Levitsky Productions claims in Superior Court. In a separate complaint, Landis sued Jackson and Nederlander of California, which allegedly offered Jackson $400,000 for dramatic rights to the video.
Levitsky says Landis directed and co-wrote the 14-minute “Thriller Video and Documentary” in 1983 and is contractually entitled to a half share of the profits.
It claims Jackson and his defunct corporation, Optimum Productions, have refused to provide accounting or pay royalties for the past 4 years. The claim includes profits from Thriller video-related rights to video games, toys, comic books and DVDs.
In his complaint against Jackson, Optimum and Nederlander, Landis says Jackson did not have his permission to license the dramatic rights, for which Jackson allegedly has received, or will receive, $400,000 from Nederlander.
Landis and Levitsky are both represented by Miles Feldman with Liner Yankelevitz & Sunshine.