Backing Down to Disney, Theater Agrees to Draw Curtain on Musical Featuring 'Spider-Man'

Disney gets a settlement in a lawsuit that took an unexpected turn.
Sony Pictures

A Pennsylvania theater company has agreed to an order that prohibits it from using Disney's intellectual property related to Spider-Man, Mary Poppins and The Lion King and will be destroying costumes, props, set dressings and advertisements.

Entertainment Theatre Group, doing business as American Music Theatre, was sued in September 2013 over a musical titled Broadway: Now & Forever, which was a bit of a mash-up with references to The Producers, Billy Elliot, Wicked, Jersey Boys as well as Disney properties.

The lawsuit took an unexpected detour when Stan Lee Media Inc., the company founded and abandoned by Stan Lee, interjected itself in the dispute and attempted to issue a license to the defendant. SLMI hoped to get a judge to declare it to be the rightful owner of Spider-Man rights, but for the upteenth time, the judge ruled that issue had already been put to rest.

Now Disney has extracted a settlement and gotten the defendants to agree that SLMI doesn't have Spider-Man ownership rights and will never again assert such a thing.

The defendants have also consented to a permanent injunction where they can't contest, challenge or interfere with Disney's ownership to Spider-Man, Mary Poppins and The Lion King, nor obviously infringe the copyright and trademarks.

The theater company has also paid an undisclosed amount to settle the claims and also agreed to pay liquidated damages of $25,000 should they violate the injunction. The judge has signed off on this.