Sony-TriStar, the Hollywood studio behind The Mask of Zorro, is being sued by a film company who wants the right to make their own Zorro movie.

Sobini Films and its subsidiary Maroda Inc filed their lawsuit in the US District Court in Los Angeles yesterday (02AUG05).

They want to make a film based on the 1919 JOHNSTON McCULLEY book THE CURSE OF CAPISTRANO, for which they claim to have acquired the rights in 2000.

However, according to Sobini's lawyer BRUCE ISAACS, the company has been unable to proceed with their movie after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Sony, in which the studio says it owns exclusive rights to any films and TV shows based on the Zorro character.

Isaacs says, "Once Sony sent us that letter, it's kind of like the kiss of death.

"What we're asking the court to declare is that Sony-TriStar does not have exclusive rights to Zorro, whether it be via the copyright road or via the trademark road."

Sobini also want the court to rule Sony cannot copyright Zorro's look of a black cape, mask, hat and sword.

A sequel to The Mask Of Zorro, The Legend of Zorro, is due for release later this year (05).

04/08/2005 10:31