As of this month, it’s now been over a decade since a Friday the 13th film made its way to cinemas, and thanks to the ongoing legal battle between producer Sean S. Cunningham and writer Victor Miller, the next installment could still be at least a few more years away.
But while fans remain upset to see the popular slasher franchise kept in limbo for so long, Miller has stated that he too wants to see this dispute settled, but that the situation he’s currently caught up in is very complicated.
“Everybody’s trying to settle all the little things and dot the I’s, get the semicolons where they belong, and all that kind of stuff. Who gets what. Who has to give what to whom. So, to me, it’s a nightmare,” Miller shared with IAnthonyD on YouTube. “If you’ve got two sides across the table… this is poker. And you don’t get to say, ‘Well I’ll take half the money and you take half the money.’ That’s not how it works. I can’t be more specific than that.”
The conflict between the writer and the director of the original 1980 Friday the 13th essentially concerns the rights to various elements within the franchise – a situation that’s made messier by the fact that Jason Voorhees only became the hockey-masked killer we know today in the subsequent sequels.
Last September, the court ruled in favor of Miller, but it wasn’t long before Cunningham filed a notice of appeal. And while the appeal was recently withdrawn for technical reasons, there’s a good chance that Cunningham will refile, causing the dispute to rage on for a fair bit longer. It’s a tricky situation, but Miller says that he’s not dragging his feet on the matter.
“It has to be done by people who do this for a living. I don’t know how that plays,” Miller noted. “Eventually, I will have to approve something. I’m just sitting here saying, ‘Hey look. I got the copyright for the first one. Let’s talk.’ And these people have been dining out for thirty years. They don’t want to part with a cent. I would love to be more involved [in more Friday the 13th sequels]. So who knows. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I can’t think of anybody better. I am not dragging my feet.”
Though things aren’t looking too great for Friday the 13th right now, it seems inevitable that we’ll see more of Jason somewhere down the line. Just last October, in fact, it was reported that LeBron James and his SpringHill Entertainment company were in talks with Vertigo Entertainment to resurrect the series, while Ryan Turek from Blumhouse Productions has also expressed an interest in trying to repeat their success in rebooting Halloween.
Still, it could be a long wait before anyone gets a chance to bring Friday the 13th back to our screens, and until then, all we can do is watch this space and hope for the best.