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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 15:45 GMT
Spider-Man creator sues over film
Spider-Man
Comic-book icon Stan Lee wants a cut of the profits
Stan Lee - co-creator of the Spider-Man character - is threatening to sue Marvel Enterprises for 10% of the profits from film and television licensing.

Lee, a chairman of Marvel Enterprises, claims he is owed the money under the terms of his 1998 employment agreement.

But Marvel maintains that the comics' author - who also created The Incredible Hulk and X-Men - is guaranteed only an annual salary of $1m (630,000).

The New York-based company said in a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week that it has received a written claim from Lee for a share of profits.

Worldwide hit

Hollywood blockbuster Spider-Man was a worldwide hit, taking $114m (77.57m) in its first three days in the US and Canada in May.

Tobey Maguire
Tobey Maguire will star in the sequel

It grossed more than $800m (514m) at the box office worldwide this year, making it a significant factor in Marvel's recent rosy earnings.

The movie also helped film company Sony to a record year.

In August, Sony went past the $1.27bn (820m) the studio took in the US in 1997, the previous annual revenue record.

A sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man, is scheduled for release in 2004 and will again star Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Director Sam Raimi will also return.

Several other films based on Marvel characters are also now in the works, including 20th Century Fox's Daredevil, set to open on 14 February 2003.

See also:

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