Liz Swain 9:30 a.m., May 29
Lon Chaney, Jr., back from the dead and ready to litigate
Universal studios is being sued by the estate of second generation movie monster, Lon Chaney, Jr., to the tune of over $1 million for alleged improper use of the actor’s likeness for merchandising.
Hollywood is always looking for ways to recycle itself. What a movie franchise this would make: The Wolf Man's Grandchildren vs. the Universal Monsters followed one year later by the two-part release of Frankenstein vs. Ronald Meyer and The Mummy CityWalks Among Us.
On Monday, the family of the actor -- who picked up work as Dracula, the Mummy, and Frankenstein only after Karloff and Lugosi refused to reprise the characters -- filed a nine-page breach of contract suit in L.A. Superior Court.
When I want Lon Chaney, Jr., I turn to The Indestructible Man and Spider-Baby rather than any of his tracing jobs at Universal or his one acknowledged stab at serious acting in Of Mice and Men. (Here is how I like my George and Lennie.) And was Dorothy Malone really that far off when she referred to Lon 'Creighton Barrel,' Jr. as a "dumb thing" in Man of a Thousand Faces?
Goof on Lon until the wolfbane blooms (I do), but the guy paid his dues and as such his descendents deserve their cut of the profits. Better them than Universal CEO, Ronald Meyer, the suit who green-lit the 2010 remake of The Wolfman.
Source: Deadline Hollywood.
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