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Less than a month ahead of its trial date, the legal battle between Robert Kirkman and Bill Crabtree has been settled out of court, according to a legal filing.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that a filing was made January 25 by lawyers for both parties, noting that an agreement had been reached to settle the lawsuit over whether or not Kirkman had breached an agreement with Crabtree over part-ownership and royalties on the Image Comics series Invincible, in light of the animated series adaptation on Prime Video. The original 2022 lawsuit claimed that “Kirkman falsely told Crabtree that Crabtree’s rights and financial interest in the Work would remain unchanged if he signed the Certificate of Authorship and that the document would simply allow Kirkman to market the licensure of the Work more easily, resulting in greater profits for both of them.”
Terms of the settlement deal were not disclosed. The filing is especially brief, noting simply that the matter “has been settled [and that the] parties request 45 days to confirm the settlement in writing and file a dismissal of the action.” Lawyers for both parties have not spoken publicly about the settlement.
The settlement coming just before trial is reminiscent of a 2012 lawsuit between Kirkman and his Walking Dead collaborator Tony Moore, which was also settled before the matter reached the courtroom; as with the Kirkman/Crabtree suit, Moore had alleged that Kirkman had tricked him into signing away his rights to the series in order to more easily facilitate a media deal. Again, terms of the settlement were kept secret, and neither Kirkman nor Moore have addressed the subject publicly in the years since.
In addition to coming before the trial hit the courtroom, the settlement also arrived on the heels of the announcement of the release date for the second part of Invincible’s second season; the show returns to Prime Video March 14, 2024.
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