LAS VEGAS – Evel Knievel's son is on a collision course with the Walt Disney Co. and Pixar over a movie daredevil character named Duke Caboom.
A federal trademark infringement lawsuit filed in Las Vegas accuses the movie company of improperly basing the new character in last year’s “Toy Story 4” on Knievel, whose famous stunts included motorcycle jumps over the Caesars Palace fountain in Las Vegas and a row of buses at Wembley Stadium in London, and a rocket shot into Snake River Canyon in Idaho.
Las Vegas-based K and K Promotions accuses Disney-owned Pixar of intentionally modeling the Caboom character, voiced by Keanu Reeves in the movie, after Knievel — although Knievel’s name is never mentioned.
Son Kelly Knievel, head of K and K, has had publicity rights to Evel Knievel's name since 1998, according to the Tuesday court filing in U.S. District Court. He said Thursday the moviemakers never sought permission to use his father's likeness.
The Walt Disney Co., in a statement from corporate spokesman Jeffrey R. Epstein, said it will defend itself vigorously against what it called Knievel's meritless claims.
Knievel is seeking unspecified damages totaling more than $300,000 on allegations that also include false endorsement and unjust enrichment.
The Caboom character is described by Disney Pixar as a 1970s motorcycle-riding toy based on “Canada’s greatest stuntman,” according to the lawsuit.
Photos in the court filing put Caboom side-by-side with Knievel, who became an American icon after his near-fatal 1967 Caesars Palace crash.