New Line, Jackson dispute continues

If New Line Cinema founder Bob Shaye has his way, director Peter Jackson won’t be getting money from the studio anytime soon. In 1995, the director sued New Line, claiming he was defrauded out of millions for the Lord of the Rings movies. According to his lawsuit, the studio’s use of “pre-emptive bidding” — that is, selling some of the merchandise, DVD and book rights to fellow Time-Warner properties instead of putting them on the open market — meant lower gross receipts. And since Jackson’s deal included a percentage of said receipts, what he was paid may have been $100 million less than what he should have gotten, say his lawyers.

Two years later, Jackson seems no closer to receiving any money. Asked about the lawsuit at a panel in Cannes, New Line founder Bob Shaye said the director and his wife had already been paid $250 million in profit participation. The studio’s co-chief, Michael Lynne, said the studio did want to settle the dispute. Meanwhile, The Hobbit remains without a director, though Sam Raimi’s name keeps surfacing in rumors.

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