It appears that Sweetpea Entertainment has cast its counterspell to Hasbro’s fireball…they filed a 102 page counter-complaint against Hasbro, and aren’t pulling any punches. They aren’t just asking for clarification of rights, but “damages, including its actual damages (or statutory damages for certain acts of copyright infringement, if Sweetpea so elects), Counter-Defendants’ profits, treble and punitive damages, as well as attorney fees and costs, in an amount to be ascertained pursuant to applicable laws.”
Hasbro filed suit again Sweetpea Entertainment in May to shut down production on D&D movie being set up at Warner Bros, saying it owned the rights as Sweetpea did not meet the requirements to retain the rights after 2000’s Dungeons & Dragons and the 2005 sequel Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God.
The defendant appears to be Courtney Solomon’s Sweetpea Entertainment, who produced the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons, as well as the 2005 sequel Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God. The quoted article has a number of problems that make it hard to make sense of what they are saying, but the 2005 sequel would appear to have qualified, but the 2012 Dungeons & Dragons: The Book of Vile Darkness might, as Hasbro claims, not qualify, since it was more than 5 years after the previous effort and retained no characters or situations from either. But I also don’t see Courtney Solomon or Sweetpea in the credits list on IMDb.
An interesting 24 hours in the “games to screen” craze…it seems that Universal has been second-guessing its idea to bring a lot of Hasbro games to the big screen. Although Battleship is starting to generate heat, the studio has dropped plans for several others by placing them in turnaround (where other studios can pick them up), like Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering.
Stretch Armstrong has apparently landed on that list. It originally had Taylor Lautner (Twlight saga) attached to star, but Universal put it in to turnaround where it was picked up by Relativity Media – but now Lautner is out. Lautner’s people say it was their decision, but it also seems that the studio may not see Lautner as having enough draw.
Another former Universal/Hasbro project, Candy Land, was also placed in turnaround, and currently Columbia Pictures/Sony is in talks to develop the movie, with Ben Stiller (Bedtime Stories) set to star and possibly co-write the screenplay with Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live) and directed by Kevin Lima (Enchanted).