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Warner Bros. Hit with Lawsuit by Former ‘IT’ Movie Producers

— July 23, 2019

Warner Bros. is at the center of a new lawsuit alleging it prevented two former executive producers from working on the newer ‘It’ movies.

Did you see the 2017 ‘It’ remake? How about the recent trailer promoting its second installment due to hit theaters this September? Compared to the miniseries released in the 1990s, the recent 2017 film was a huge success and grossed more than $700 million worldwide. However, that success hasn’t stopped two former executive producers from launching complaints about the production of the newer films. Last week, Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging they were “wrongfully denied an opportunity to participate in Warner Bros’ recent It movies.” Both men worked on the first adaptation of the popular Stephen King horror novel.

Image of a legal gavel
Legal Gavel; image courtesy of Jonathunder via Wikimedia Commons,

According to the suit, Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky allege they had “a contractual right to engage in a negotiation for any sequel, series, remake, or spinoff, plus are entitled to a minimum share of 10 percent of net profits on any such subsequent production.” However, they argue in the suit they haven’t received nearly the amount of compensation they’re owed.

Sanitsky and Konigsberg used to operate Telepictures Productions back in the mid-1980s before the company merged with Lorimar Productions. Now Telepictures is a “division of Warner Bros that produces such shows as Ellen, Extra, and TMZ Live.” According to the suit, Sanitsky and Konigsberg helped develop the 1990s miniseries based on the horror novel, but it failed to produce profits. They would end up waiting 25 years for a profit statement, which they eventually received this past March showing “they were entitled to $1 million in profits.” The suit brings into question, though, whether they’re owed more and even includes allegations of “fraud over the accounting.” The suit specifically notes that the two are entitled to more of the profits given the fact that the 2017 feature film and its sequel are a remake of the miniseries they worked on. In fact, the suit states, “That the 2017 feature film is indeed a ‘remake’ is indisputable.”

However, lawyers may try to argue that the 2017 blockbuster hit was more a remake of the book than the miniseries. Additionally, during the impending litigation process, lawyers may also explore whether Warner Bros “assumed obligations towards Konigsberg and Sanitsky.According to the suit, “the studio is the successor-in-interest to Konigsberg’s and Sanitsky’s 1986 agreement with Lorimar-Telepictures.” As a result, lawyers will have to determine whether that comes into play and can be challenged by Warner Bros.

Konigsberg and Sanitsky are represented by Dale Kinsella. Kinsella has experience representing other producers and is even currently representing “a producer who claims he is being shafted from the Fast and Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw.”


Warner Bros. Haunted By Lawsuit from Producers of 1990 ‘It’ Miniseries

It Miniseries Producer Sues Warner Bros. Over Film Adaptations

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