'Rings' actor wants piece of merch pie


Lawrence Makoare, who appeared in the "Lord of the Rings" movies as the Witchking and other characters, is suing for a share of merchandising profits related to the film trilogy.

An attorney representing the New Zealand actor filed suit late Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking 5% of "net merchandising revenue" from the "Rings" movies. The suit, filed by attorney Henry Gradstein of Gradstein & Luskin in Los Angeles, is just the latest suit naming "Rings" distributor New Line Cinema as a defendant and seeking additional compensation from the high-grossing movie franchise.

Previously filed actions include a high-profile suit by "Rings" director Peter Jackson, who claims that New Line owes him tens of millions in additional compensation related to various ancillary revenue streams from the movie. Filed in 2005, the case is pending.

The Makoare suit is similar to one filed in May by a group of New Zealand actors claiming to be owed additional compensation connected to "Rings" merchandising. Both actions claim that New Line used improper accounting in calculating net merchandising revenue and thus avoided making required payments to the plaintiffs.

In addition to New Line, Makoare's suit names New Zealand production entity Three Foot Six Ltd. as a defendant.