Friday The 13th Legal Battle Just Took A Big Step Backwards


Jason Voorhees is famously nigh-on unstoppable. He can be beaten, shot, stabbed, electrocuted, blown up and even literally sent to hell and he’ll keep ticking. But lately, it seems that they’ve finally pinned down the one thing that can stop him in his tracks: lawyers.

Yup, ever since Victor Miller, screenwriter of the original Friday the 13th, went to court to assert his ownership of the character, Jason has been on ice. The legal battle has meant no new movies in the series for a decade and the untimely ending of the excellent multiplayer video game.

There was some brief light at the end of the tunnel last year though when a judge ruled that Miller did indeed own the rights to that first screenplay and various concepts within (though he declined to rule on who actually owns Jason himself). That ruling could have led to Miller and the current franchise owner Sean Cunningham coming to some kind of arrangement and apparently, they were close to working things out last month. But Cunningham has now reinstated his appeal against the original judge’s ruling, indicating that this battle is likely to drag on for some time yet.

Now, as he so often does, entertainment lawyer (and star of Friday the 13th Part 3) Larry Zerner has chipped in with his perspective on the case, saying:

“This isn’t the end of the world, but it is disappointing. It may just mean that they need additional time to get a deal done. … I [think] that Victor Miller would probably win the appeal, but I don’t want to wait another two years before they can start making a new Friday the 13th movie.”

If California appeal courts are anything like the ones I know about, expect an actual hearing to be some ways away. Depending on that decision (and how litigious the parties then feel), it could even be kicked right up to the California Supreme Court. I guess all we can do now is hope that Victor Miller and Sean Cunningham find some common ground.

Oh well, at least we’ve got that neat Friday the 13th fan film to tide us over.

All Posts