Excorcist creators: Warner robbed us

Creators behind the horror film The Exorcist are looking to spook Warner Bros., Turner Network Television and Turner Broadcasting System.

The film's director William Friedkin and author William Blatty are alleging in a lawsuit that the three companies cheated them out of profits in the sale of last year's Exorcist re-release to TNT and TBS. Friedkin and Blatty charge the AOL/Time Warner partners essentially gave the re-release to the cable outlets for free. No claims were made against the 1997 sale of the original Exorcist to TNT.

In the suit filed Tuesday, Friedkin and Blatty maintain that AOL/Time Warner told them that if they didn't hand over the re-release of Exorcist for no charge, the Turner outlets would simply air the original version. A Warner Bros. spokesperson said it's company policy not to comment on lawsuits. The pair also allege that Warner Bros. unfairly sold the re-release of the film to CBS for a below-market $1.5 million - they say the studio told them that had to be done because of its explicit content.
- Susanne Ault