A director is suing pop star Michael Jackson, 50, for allegedly not paying royalties. John Landis, the acclaimed director who co-wrote the video and shot âthriller,â says Jackson failed to pay him royalties for the project for the past four years. The suit comes as âThrillerâ heads to Broadway. Landisâ Levitsky Productions Inc. sued Jackson for unspecified damages in Santa Monica on Jan. 21, days before Broadway producer James Nederlander announced he had bought the rights to adapt âThrillerâ for the stage. The suit claims Landis is owed 50% of profits from âThrillerâ projects and alleges Jackson continues to license rights to video games, toys and comic books based on the 14-minute music video and a documentary. The suit accuses Jackson of âfraudulent, malicious and oppressive conduct.â No comment from Jacksonâs spokesman at press time.
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