Evel Knievel’s son is suing Disney for trademark infringement accusing the studio of using his father’s likeness for the Duke Caboom character voiced by Keanu Reeves in “Toy Story 4” without permission.
The lawsuit, obtained by TheWrap and filed by Kelly Knievel on behalf of K & K Promotions, makes comparisons between Duke Caboom and Knievel, sharing side by side images of Knievel in his signature white costume alongside pictures of the toy Duke Caboom and says the character is clearly patterned after the daredevil.
Though it never refers to Knievel by name, “Toy Story 4” refers to Duke Caboom as a 1970s toy based on Canada’s greatest stuntman. And the lawsuit even compares a commercial seen in the film for the Duke Caboom Stunt Cycle to a real commercial and toy modeled after Knievel and was released in 1973. There have even been other toys and merchandise of the Duke Caboom character since the film was released last year.
The lawsuit goes on to accuse Disney of instructing cast to not refer to Knievel by name in press interviews even if asked, making a comparison to an interview in which Tom Hanks and Tim Allen told Tony Hale to not refer to his character Forky as a “spork” since the word was also trademarked.
Knievel is seeking unspecified damages of more than $300,000, and he’s also accusing Disney of false endorsement and unjust enrichment.
“Evel Knievel did not thrill millions around the world, break his bones and spill his blood just so Disney could make a bunch of money,” Kelly Knievel said in a statement to AP.
“The claims are without merit and we intend to defend against them vigorously in court,” a spokesperson for The Walt Disney Company told TheWrap.