In a post that reads like something out of the Law Bulletin, Deadline reports that three producers, two screenwriters, and one of the directors of the original batch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles films are suing for breach of contract, suggesting that the secret of the ooze might be something as prosaic as tax shelters in the Cayman Islands.
The plaintiffs, including producer Kim Lawson and director Steve Barron, allege that Fortune Star Media Ltd withheld net profits from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret Of The Ooze, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III. Lawson et al. were delayed in filing suit because the movie rights changed ownership repeatedly over the last 25 years. As the current rights holder, Fortune Star is on the hook for the monetary award, should they lose at trial.
Warner Bros.—which merged with the films’ original distributor, New Line Cinema—isn’t named as a defendant, despite its deep pockets. But it sounds like the plaintiffs have a bone to pick with the movie studio anyway: The complaint describes money passing hands from WB to Fortune Star, and the bucks basically stopping there.