B.B. King Sued for Blocking Biopic

Blues legend claims filmmaker is violating his trademarks

B.B. King performs at Royal Albert Hall in London.
Neil Lupin/Redferns
April 10, 2012 4:30 PM ET

B.B. King is being sued by a filmmaker who claims the blues legend has attempted to block an autobiographical film, the Hollywood Reporter reveals. King Size Film Productions filed a lawsuit in California federal court alleging that King has been attempting to use his trademarks and rights of publicity to interfere with B.B. King and I, a movie about writer Michael Zanetis' relationship with the guitarist. King helped kickstart Zanetis' career in the music industry and Zanetis was instrumental in getting King a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

According to the suit, Zanetis shared the screenplay with King in 2006, but the guitarist began efforts to stop the film once it went into production. A cease-and-desist letter was sent on behalf of King in July, claiming that the film and its website violated the musician's trademarks and publicity rights, as well as anti-cybersquatting laws. King Size Film Productions say that King's demands resulted in production delays and damaged the producers' efforts to obtain further investment in the film, which would star The Wire's Wendell Pierce and Almost Famous star Patrick Fugit.

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