The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Tribune Entertainment has sued Marvel Enterprises for $100 million, claiming that Marvel's actions have doomed the Mutant X TV series, which Tribune licensed from Marvel. In 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., which had just scored a big hit with the first X-Men movie, sued both Marvel and Tribune Entertainment on the grounds that the Mutant X TV series, which Tribune had already syndicated to more than 125 TV stations, infringed on Fox's right to exclusive exploitation of the X-Men property (see 'Fox Sues Marvel Over Mutant X'). Marvel settled with Fox in March of this year (see 'Mutant X Lawsuit Settled'), and Tribune and Fox settled earlier this month. Now Tribune Entertainment is suing Marvel, citing the loss of millions of dollars in fighting the Fox lawsuit and claiming that changes made to the Mutant X series to distance it from X-Men have kept Mutant X from making money. According to Tribune's complaint, 'Tribune has not realized any profit at all from the production and distribution of Mutant X, but has instead lost millions of dollars.' In spite of the losses, Tribune Entertainment has not cancelled Mutant X, which first aired on Oct. 6, 2001 and is currently well into its third season. Although the Fox lawsuit dimmed prospects for Mutant X licensing, ADV Films is releasing Mutant X DVDs.
Marvel reacted to news of the Tribune lawsuit with a short statement claiming that the Tribune's claims are 'without merit' and indicating that Marvel 'looks forward to vigorously defending the action...and is reviewing a range of possible legal actions in addition to its active defense.'