(CN) – Warner Bros. bought the rights to “Mortal Kombat” when video game maker Midway went bankrupt, but refused to comply with a court order to work with a company that says it had obtained movie production rights from Midway 17 years ago.
Plaintiff Threshold Entertainment’s principal Lawrence Kasanoff made that deal in 1993, according to the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Threshold Entertainment claims it made an agreement with Midway in 1993, to develop spin-offs on the Mortal Kombat video game. Midway Amusement Games was previously known as Midway Manufacturing Co., but only Warner Bros. is named as a defendant.
Threshold was formerly known as Amalgamated Widgets. It says it worked with Midway to produce the first two “Mortal Kombat” movies, released in 1995 and 1997, as well as a TV series and a children’s cartoon.
In December 2006, Threshold says, it signed an additional agreement to develop a third “Mortal Kombat” movie. But Midway filed for bankruptcy in February 2009.
In July 2009, Delaware federal bankruptcy court signed off on Warner Bros.’ bid to buy the rights to the Mortal Kombat franchise, subject to Threshold’s production rights, according to Threshold’s complaint.
Threshold says Warner Bros. ignored it, and refused to work together on the third movie. It says that Warner Bros. plans to release the third “Mortal Kombat” movie in 2013.
Threshold wants the right to repossess its rights to “Mortal Kombat” and damages “sufficient to punish” a company with “enormous worldwide wealth and income.” Threshold is represented by Peter Beirne.
Athough the complaint lists Kasanoff as Threshold’s principal, he is not named as a plaintiff.