Producer Sues|Jacko’s Estate

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Broadway musical producer Nederlander Presentations claims Michael Jackson’s estate is preventing it from using “Thriller,” “Beat It” and other hits to create a musical play, despite a written agreement it had with the late singer.

     In its Superior Court complaint, Nederlander claims it had an agreement with Jackson before he died 1 year ago, giving exclusive right “to create, produce and present in one or more first- or second-class productions in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom a musical stage play,” based on Jackson’s music.
     Now, Nederlander claims, Jackson’s estate refuses to provide the rights to use “Thriller,” “Billie Jean,” “The Girl is Mine,” “Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough” and others in a stage show.
     The estate’s co-executors John Branca and John McClain are named as defendants.
     Nederlander and Jackson, then doing business under the name MJJ Kingdom, made the agreement in October 2008, according to the complaint. It was to expire in October 2011 but includes an extension option for October 2013, the complaint states.
     Nederlander seeks an injunction, costs and damages for breach of contract.
     It is represented by Neil Papiano.

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