Dungeons & Dragons: Warner Bros. Reboot Hit By Lawsuit From Hasbro [UPDATE]

By Binu Paul , Updated May 15, 2013 12:11 PM EDT
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Toy maker Hasbro seems to be offering Warner Bros. the free advice that moviemaking is no game. Hasbro filed a lawsuit against the global movie giant challenging its rights to make a reboot of Dungeons & Dragons.

Hasbro, on Monday, filed a lawsuit against producer Courtney Solomon's Sweetpea Entertainment, alleging that the company does not enjoy the rights for a movie adaptation that exploits its Dungeons and Dragons brand, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Solomon, who produced the 2000 film version of Dungeons and Dragons, is reportedly partnering with Warner Bros. on another movie on the same brand.

"That film is based on Chainmail, a board game from Dungeons & Dragons designer Gary Gygax. But Hasbro has also been reported to have licensed a Dungeons & Dragons reboot to Universal Studios. So the company and its Wizards of the Coast subsidiary has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Sweetpea that seeks a declaration that it owns rights to the property and an injunction to stop the planned Warner Bros. film," the report says.

Sweetpea acquired rights to the property in a 1994 agreement, which granted Solomon's company the right to do a sequel or prequel.  However, the complaint alleges that "Sweetpea's claim of ownership of the theatrical motion picture rights in the Property is baseless because the Sequel Rights have reverted to Hasbro."

Hasbro's lawsuit further states that an amendment to the 1994 contract provided that "Sequel Rights would "revert on a rolling basis... on the earlier of (i) five (5) years from of (sic) the initial U.S. release or (ii) seven (7) years from final director's cut of the immediately prior picture."

UPDATE: Solomon issued a statement explaining his stand on the issue and said, "We have made three pictures so far, and we're going to make more -including the tent pole project that is currently in advanced stages of development with Warner Bros."

"This is nothing but shameless opportunism on the part of Hasbro, an effort to use the Court and the legal process in an attempt to delay the project," continued Solomon.  "We intend to deal with them quickly and firmly and we are confident we will prevail - just as we did in the 1990's, when the last legal challenge ended with a confirmation of Sweepea's rights."

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