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Failed NHL Superhero Franchise Leads to $500,000 Judgment Against Producer

Variety logo Variety 3/24/2017 Gene Maddaus
© Provided by Variety

In 2011, the National Hockey League joined forces with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee to create a team of superheros for each professional hockey team.

The idea, dubbed “The Guardian Project,” quickly flopped, but it’s still reverberating in court. On Friday, a judge awarded $500,000 to Filmula Entertainment, which claimed it had been induced to invest in the company behind the NHL superheros after it had ceased operations.

Filmula filed suit in July, accusing producer Aldo LaPietra of concealing the true state of the project when he pitched it in 2012. According to the suit, LaPietra solicited an investment of $5 million, stating that it would include gaming, merchandising, a film, TV, and music. The suit claims that LaPietra said that an animated film based on the characters had been fully financed by producer Ted Field in the amount of $9-10 million, and that NBC Universal was also involved.

In fact, Filmula claims, Field had not contributed any investment in the film and NBC Universal had dropped out entirely. The company created to exploit the characters was insolvent and had shut down at the time that Filmula made its $500,000 investment.

Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Craig Karlan entered a default judgment against LaPietra for $500,000 on Friday.

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