“Thriller” may be headed to Broadway, but first Michael Jackson’s song and groundbreaking music video may be headed to court.
John Landis, the acclaimed director who co-wrote the video and shot “Thriller,” is suing Jackson,claiming the pop star has failed to pay him royalties for the project for the past four years.
Landis’ Levitsky Productions Inc. sued Jackson for unspecified damages in Santa Monica on Jan. 21, days before a Broadway producer announced he had bought the rights to adapt “Thriller” for the stage.
The lawsuit claims Landis is owed 50 percent of profits from “Thriller” 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.
A phone message left for a New York attorney who has represented Jackson was not immediately returned Wednesday morning.