Legendary stomps first in ‘Godzilla’ battle

Studio preemptively sues to block Lin, Lee and Davidson from pic

Legendary Pictures has asked a judge to uphold its decision to remove producers Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Doug Davison from its coming take on “Godzilla.”

The studio filed a complaint for declaratory relief Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that Lin, Lee and Davison had threatened to sue the production company-financier for exercising its option to remove the producers from the movie in December. The complaint said that the trio’s efforts to date had consisted only of introducing a screenwriter and contributing notes that were not used.

“Defendants, including through their counsel, have rejected Legendary’s notification that their producing services are not desired and that their compensation under the agreement is limited to a $25,000 development fee,” the complaint said. “Defendants have threatened to file suit against Legendary, even going so far as to threaten to ‘seek a TRO’ to prevent the production of a motion picture in which they (defendants) have no copyright interest whatsoever — a claim that would be preempted by the Copyright Act as a matter of law.”

Larry Stein, attorney for Lin and Lee, had no comment.

Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni remain as producers, along with Brian Rogers. Lin and Lee had been included as producers since the original announcement in 2010, in which Legendary also said “Godzilla” would be produced under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros.

“Godzilla” is set for a May 16, 2014 release with a promise that Godzilla will return to “its epic roots with a gritty, realistic actioner.” Gareth Edwards directs from a screenplay by David Callaham, David S. Goyer and Max Borenstein.

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