Gary Friedrich, the creator of Ghost Rider, is suing Marvel, Sony and a bunch of other folks over the recent movie Ghost Rider (review) and related merchandise. Inexplicably (to me) the movie has earned about $250 million worldwide to date, and we’re just getting into the secondary market with the DVD releases.
It seems that Friedrich signed over the copyright (not to Marvel, some third party company) but that company never registered it. So in 2001 the copyright reverted back to Friedrich.
Now from the stories I’ve read, it’s not clear to me whether he has received compensation based on the movie revenues, and if he has, how much it was. As pointed out at Namewire, it seems kind of odd that Friedrich would wait this long before filing his lawsuit. I mean anybody with internet access knew this movie was coming out a year before it ever hit the big screen, right?
Personally, it seems to me that he wanted to see just HOW much money this movie was going to make before he decided how lucrative it might be to go out and hire a lawyer. On the face of it, he may be in the right, but I don’t know the details and the delay in filing the lawsuit seems fishy to me.