George R.R. Martin, who is allegedly hard at work on his much-anticipated follow-ups in the Game of Thrones book series, is suing an L.A. production company over the film rights to his werewolf novella The Skin Trade.
A complaint filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday indicates Mike The Pike Productions optioned the film rights to Martin’s novella in 2009. It subsequently assigned the option to Blackstone Manor, LLC., the named defendants in the lawsuit.
The Skin Trade was part of the 1988 horror anthology Night Visions 5, a collection that included works by Stephen King and Dan Simmons. In the Martin story, private investigator Randi Wadeis looking into a series of brutal killings in her small town. It leads to discovery of werewolves and other creatures.
The complaint states Blackstone exercised the option on Sept. 2, 2014. Per the 2009 agreement, it had five years to start principal photography on a film before the rights reverted to Martin.
Just before the 2019 deadline, the complaint claims Blackstone “hastily assembl[ed] a barebones cast and crew” just one day before the option expiration “to shoot a handful of scenes.”
Martin claims the “token” production was “insufficient.”
Blackstone has threatened its own lawsuit against Martin if he looks to exploit his novella himself.
Martin is seeking declarative relief around the film rights as well as damages for breach of contract.