Original IT Producer Sues Over Movie Adaptations

It (1990) Pennywise stares out from the photo album

As the world gears up for IT Chapter 2 to complete the modern retelling of Pennywise the Dancing Clown’s epic battle with The Losers' Club, there seems to be a bit of a problem looming in the recent distance. Much as the clown menace returns after almost thirty years to haunt his previous victims, the original interpretation of IT is about to potentially complicate things for Warner Bros and New Line.

Producer Larry Sanitsky, on behalf of himself and the late producer Frank Konigsberg, is looking to sue the studios for what he believes is a history of underreported earnings, as well as a breach of contract that reaches back to a deal struck by Konigsberg and Sanitsky when they signed on to be producers on the 1990 TV miniseries adaptation of IT.

According to the terms that were agreed upon in said contract, not only were the producers owed 10% of the net profits from any remake, but they were also supposed to have a stake in any sequels and/or remakes that arose from the production of IT.

The deal was in the wake of Frank Konigsberg and Larry Sanitsky losing the project in a merger between their company, Telepictures, and the studio that would produce the ratings bonanza of a miniseries, Lorimar Television.

Since Lorimar is a division of Warner Bros, and their studio remade IT into a two-part motion picture with their New Line Cinema production brand, Sanitsky believes that there is a substantial amount of money owed, especially with the runaway success of director Andy Muschietti’s IT bringing in around $700 million worldwide.

While it’s not sure how much of the net profits to the 2017 would go to Larry Sanitsky and the estate of Frank Konigsberg, it’s bound to be quite a bit of money with that result on the books. One could imagine that the supposed amount would grow exponentially with the debut of IT Chapter Two this September, as the long awaited finale to the Derry set saga could quite possibly outdo its predecessor.

While it’s not certain what the next steps will be in these legal proceedings reported by Variety, the furthest this matter might reach is a settlement agreement reached just in time for the release of IT Chapter Two; so as to block any sorts of attempted injunctions that would delay the film’s release. That’s just a guess on our part, as the reality could always be more or less complicated.

Meanwhile, another Stephen King remake is apparently playing by the rules that Sanitsky and Konigsberg set in their contract. Larry is also one of the parties involved in the original production of The Tommyknockers’ 1993 television adaptation, and he is most definitely involved in helping bring that project into the modern age, alongside producer James Wan.

IT Chapter Two revives Pennywise’s reign of terror, just in time for a dramatic conclusion, on September 6th. Should there be any major updates between now and the film’s release, we’ll report back here on CinemaBlend with the latest news.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.