“Toy Story 4” character Duke Caboom could go kaboom according to a new lawsuit filed by the alleged owners of Evel Knievel’s likeness.
A new lawsuit has been filed against Disney, Pixar, and a number of their subsidiaries, according to TMZ. The lawsuit was filed by K&K Promotions, which claims to own the image, likeness, persona, and brand of Knievel.
K&K Promotions asserts Disney sought no approval to use Knievel’s likeness in “Toy Story 4”. The lawsuit further alleges Disney instructed cast and crew to avoid using Knievel’s name during interviews.
Disney not only allegedly using Knievel’s likeness in “Toy Story 4” but also made money off merchandise.
Caboom, Canada’s greatest stuntman, is voiced by Keanu Reeves in the film. “Toy Story 4” seems to pay homage to Knievel’s famous stunt cycle toy from the ’70s.
“Toy Story 4” premiered in June 2019 to critical acclaim. The film boasts an all-star cast, which includes Reeves, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Joan Cusack, Betty White, and Bill Hader.
Deadline then reported the legendary stunt performer’s son Kelly was also involved in the lawsuit.
“Defendants have used in commerce, and continue to use in commerce, the likeness, reputation, and image of Evel Knievel in the film ‘Toy Story 4’ through Defendants’ depiction of Duke Caboom, and has exploited the same connection through marketing, promotion, advertising, and sales of ‘Toy Story 4’, and in connection with the manufacturing, distribution, marketing, advertising, promotion, and sales of the Duke Caboom action figure, all without the consent or approval of K&K,” the trademark infringement complaint filed on September 22 in federal court in Las Vegas claims.
“As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful appropriation of Evel Knievel’s rights of publicity, K&K has suffered, and will continue to suffer, monetary damages to its business, reputation, and goodwill.”
The seven-claim suit from Vegas law firm Kemp Jones LLP is said to be seeking damages exceeding $75,000.
Knievel’s son also reportedly wants the standard “other and further relief as this Court many deem just and proper.”
Sky News added Kelly was seeking damages of more than US$300,000 over “allegations including false endorsement and unjust enrichment.”
The 60-year-old said: “Evel Knievel did not thrill millions around the world, break his bones and spill his blood just so Disney could make a bunch of money.”