The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” films are cult classics from the ’90s, but the producers, writers and a director behind the “heroes in a half shell” movies are now demanding payment from Warner Bros.
Producers Kim Dawson and Gary Propper, director Steve Barron, writers Bobby Herbeck and Todd Langen and an heir to producer Graham Cottle filed a lawsuit Thursday in the Los Angeles Superior Court against the distributor of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990), “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze” (1991) and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III” (1993).
The filing states that the six plaintiffs were “entitled to share in a percentage of the profits earned from one or more of the Pictures through their international as well as domestic exploration.”
Earlier this week, they won a $417, 235 judgment against rights holder Fortune Star but have not received compensation yet, so the group has filed suit against Warner Bros.
“Defendant Warner Bros. possesses certain rights and obligations to domestic distribution of the Pictures. Those obligations include the responsibility to account to and pay Fortune Star monies resulting from rights it acquired to the domestic exploitation of the Pictures,” Thursday’s filing claimed.
“WB presently possesses funds that it is otherwise obligated to pay to Fortune Star as Fortune Star’s share of profits from domestic exploitation of the Pictures, and in particular from ‘TNMT I.'”
As a result of the prior ruling, “Plaintiffs are entitled to a judgement against WB requiring it to pay FS Funds directly to Plaintiffs to the extent of the Judgment,” the lawsuit states.
The filmmakers are represented by attorneys Jay Shanker of McAfee & Taft in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Gary Goodstein and Bruce Berman of Goodstein & Berman LLP in Los Angeles.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.