Keanu Reeves’ character Daredevil Duke Caboom stars in the final trailer for “Toy Story 4.” | YouTube
Evel Knievel’s son is suing Disney over the ‘Toy Story’ 4 character Duke Caboom.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Evel Knievel’s company — K&K Promotions — decided to sue Disney over the “Toy Story 4” character Duke Caboom, and now more details have leaked about the suit.
What’s going on?
Evil Knievel’s son has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit in Las Vegas, accusing Disney “of improperly basing” Caboom off of Knievel, but never mentioning Knievel’s name in the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The lawsuit reads: “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 stunt man’s son, Kelly Knievel, who also heads K&K Promotions, has had the rights to Knievel’s name since 1998. Disney never asked him to use his father’s likeness for the new film.
“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,” Kelly Knievel said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
The lawsuit said Knievel had a stunt cycle toy that showed the stunt man in a white helmet and red jumpsuit — similar to the design of Caboom in “Toy Story 4.”
Knievel seeks damages of more than $300,000 on the allegations, which also include false endorsement and unjust enrichment.
Did Disney react?
The Walt Disney Company said “it will defend itself vigorously against what it called Knievel’s meritless claims,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.