I kinda feel bad for Midway. They just can't get a break. After getting a US$ 33M bid from Warner last month, here comes another lawsuit that could make the Warner deal fall through.
GamePolitics is reporting that Lawrence Kasanoff, the guy behind the Mortal Kombat movies, TV show and animated series, is suing Midway in order to preserve his IP rights including copyrights to certain MK series characters.
He also wants to retain rights to create derivative film and TV projects based on the fighting game series. In short, he wants to be able to keep milking the hell out of the franchise. Kasanoff also claims that it wasn't Midway who made the series and its characters popular, it was him all along:
In 1993, Kasanoff visited Midway... with an idea to launch the Mortal Kombat concept in a totally new direction. Specifically, Kasanoff proposed to develop... a full feature-length motion picture, a television series, and other productions. Midway was initially skeptical, as Kasanoff's idea was revolutionary at the time...
The Mortal Kombat series, as it stands today, is far more a creation of Threshold and Kasanoff than of Midway. Midway's creative input was almost entirely limited to the videogames. On their own, the videogames provided only minimal back-story and mythology, and only flat, "stock" characters... Kasanoff and Threshold were responsible for virtually all of the creative input that went into turning the videogame concept into a multimedia enterprise.
I guess he forgot about the comics.