Five visual effect technicians and animators unsuccessfully sued Iron Sky in Finnish court, claiming the producers infringed on their copyright and used some of their work for the upcoming sequel, Iron Sky 2: The Coming Race without obtaining proper rights or giving compensation.
Iron Sky: The Coming Race is set to be released in 2019. The producers of the film have signed a partnership deal with Jeridoo Universe, who were not part of the lawsuit, for upcoming releases including an Iron Sky video game. The outcome of the law suit would have no effect on the deal between Iron Sky and Jeridoo Universe.
The Finnish court dismissed claims by animators and visual effects technicians who worked on the first 'Iron Sky' film including various spaceships and background elements. The Finnish court ordered the plaintiffs to repay legal fees accumulated by Iron Sky Universe and Blind Spot, the group that handles rights to the Iron Sky brand. The plaintiffs claimed that their work was instrumental in the film and that they should have partial copyright ownership over the franchise.
The five claimants accused Finnish producers Blind Spot and the Iron Sky Universe of improperly and illegally using these elements on planned sequels to the original film. The plaintiffs claimed their creative contribution to the Iron Sky franchise is such that they should also be considered as joint copyright holders of the original movie. However, the defendants successfully argued that the five technicians were a part of a much larger team, had no creative input into the film, and were hired on a contract basis.
The court did say the visual effect artists had copyright to the animators in a single case, the design of the film's Japanese spaceship, but they concluded the copyright had been legally and correctly transferred to Blind Spot Pictures.
The lawsuit unfortunately delayed the sequel, which was supposed to be released in 2018 for a year and a half. The film was partly financed by crowdfunding efforts on Indiegogo and centers around a plot about dinosaurs living at the core of the Earth, ruled by Adolf Hitler and a race of reptiles.
Iron Sky producer Tero Kaukomaa also announced plans for an Iron Sky prequel, Iron Sky: The Ark, to be set in China and produced with Max Wang, who also produced Annaud’s Wolf Totem, which grossed over $110 million at the Chinese box office. Jeridoo is looking and financing and distribution options for this new film.
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