Back in May, we reported that Hasbro filed a lawsuit against Sweetpea Entertainment and producer Courtney Solomon to halt their live-action reboot of Dungeons & Dragons. Today, we have word that Sweetpea filed a motion for a partial dismissal of the case. A hearing is set for January 24, just two months before the trial is scheduled to begin on March 25.
Our initial report on the reboot from last May revealed that producer Courtney Solomon, who directed the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons movie, is reworking a script entitled Chainmail, written by David Johnson, which is based on a more obscure game by Dungeons & Dragons creator E. Gary Gygax. The producer planned on shaping the script to fit into the Dungeons & Dragons world. However, Hasbro alleged that he didn't even have the rights to do so.
While Courtney Solomon did acquire the Dungeons & Dragons rights in 1994 to make his 2000 live-action feature, Hasbro's lawsuit claims that the rights to make either a prequel or a sequel have since reverted back to the toy company. While Sweetpea also produced two TV movies based on the game, they don't count as feature film sequels, which would have had to be produced five years after the original movie. Sweetpea claims that, despite what Hasbro claims, they still do have the rights to make another Dungeons & Dragons movie. Sweetpea issued a counterclaim in September, alleging that Hasbro tried to delay their deal with Warner Bros. for this new live-action remake. Hasbro has a deal with Universal Pictures, while Sweetpea's deal is with Warner Bros.
Here's an excerpt from Sweetpea's motion for a partial dismissal.
"To establish copyright infringement, a plaintiff must show that the defendant has used protectable elements of the plaintiff's copyrighted works in an infringing work. Here, Plaintiffs allege that a script entitled Chainmail infringes copyrights owned by Plaintiffs. Chainmail, however, was not written by Sweetpea, nor did Sweetpea have a hand in developing the script. Chainmail was written without any involvement by Sweetpea."
CLICK HERE to read the full motion, which was filed on December 13.