In what can be described as the latest twist in the complicated history of the media company founded by (yet no longer involved with) the famed Marvel Comics figurehead, Stan Lee Media Inc. filed paperwork over the weekend to sue for the rights to "Conan The Barbarian" which it briefly owned circa 2000.
The Hollywood Reporter has the details of the lawsuit filed in California this Friday as a new "Conan" film opened in 3D nationwide. The board of Stan Lee Media, which was recently officially instated by a Colorado judge last year after a messy 2001 bankruptcy, has asserted in court that the rights it once held to Robert E. Howard's Barbarian warrior were improperly transferred to Paradox Entertainment shortly after the bankruptcy became final.
Since 2003, Paradox has, under its Conan Properties International label, released a slew of Conan products including a successful run of comics through Dark Horse, a well-received MMO called "Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures" and other tie-in products leading up to the new film. Stan Lee Media's specific complaint against the current rights holders involves accusations of ignoring court procedures and failing to notify its shareholders properly of the rights transfer – acts which it pins on attorney Arthur Lieberman.
How all of this will shake out and how it will affect Conan projects from comics to films remains unseen. Stan Lee Media Inc. is also famously involved in a lawsuit with Marvel Comics over the rights to nearly its entire catalog of characters which has been raging since 2009. That suit is currently on hold as judges on both coasts attempt to figure out where the media company is allowed to file against Marvel, but the fight is likely far from over.
For more on the Conan suit, check out the Hollywood Reporter, and stay tuned to CBR News for more.