TV miniseries producer sues Warner Brothers for ‘It’ adaptations

Sam Ashurst
Contributor
Tim Curry in the TV adaptation of It (credit: ABC)

One of the producers of the original It adaptation - you know, the miniseries that ended with a giant muppet spider - is suing Warner Brothers for alleged breach of contract.

Larry Sanitsky is alleging the studio breached his contract by making It (2017) and It Chapter 2 (2019) without him. Sanitsky ran Telepictures with his partner Frank Konigsberg in the 1980s, acquiring the rights to Stephen King’s original novel together.

Read more: New 'It Chapter 2' trailer is utterly horrifying

They developed the book as a TV miniseries for ABC, being part of pre-production. They left the company after it merged with Lorimar, but were given a company credit on the miniseries, which aired in 1990.

The lawsuit says the pair signed a deal with Lorimar that made them “non exclusive executive producers,” with backend participation and rights to involvement in any sequel, spinoff or remake of the show.

Konigsberg died in 2016. Sanitsky is pursuing the case through the partners’ corporate entities.

The suit alleges that Warner Brothers stopped issuing profit statements in 1995, and didn’t involve the producers with either of the film adaptations.

It made $700 million worldwide on release in 2017. It: Chapter Two is due in September, and it’s expected to match or increase the first film’s success.

The lawsuit also accuses Warner Brothers of underestimating profit participation from the miniseries. The lawsuit claims that Warner Bros. has substantially underreported profits and improperly withheld payments.

Read more: Inside the battle between Pennywise and the Losers in It Chapter Two

The suit claims they are entitled to 10% of net profits of any remake, which the suit alleges would amount to millions.

Warner Brothers have declined to comment. Let’s hope none of this takes the attention away from yesterday’s astonishing It: Chapter 2 trailer, which basically looks like a modern horror masterpiece.