Evel Knievel once said that he “would always rather be in the arena fighting than be a spectator.” The legendary stunt rider’s son is clearly taking those words to heart with a new lawsuit against Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar over the Duke Caboom character introduced in last year’s Toy Story 4.
“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,” claims the trademark infringement complaint filed on September 22 in federal court in Las Vegas, the site of many of Evel’s most death-defying exploits (READ IT HERE).
“As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ unlawful appropriation of Evel Knievel’s rights of publicity, K&K has suffered, and will continue to suffer, monetary damages to its business, reputation, and goodwill,” the jury trial seeking action from the self-described Last Gladiator’s son and K and K Promotions boss Kelly Knievel goes on to say of the Keanu Reeves-voiced character in the movie.
“The claims are without merit and we intend to defend against them vigorously in court,” a spokesperson for the Pixar-owning House of Mouse said.
We’ll see what the judge has to say.