The legal battle over the rights to Friday the 13th is long and complicated, with the current status being a legal limbo as the case awaits final judgment. The question at the core is whether the rights to the original movie lie with writer Victor Miller or Sean Cunningham’s Horror Inc. Despite there once being a ray of light at the end of the tunnel, it doesn’t seem that a resolution is in sight. So for now, Jason remains on ice. But on the bright side, it might finally be a good time to go camping at Crystal Lake!
On a more serious note, this case could prove to have ramifications way bigger than what we’re seeing with this one franchise, as if Miller eventually triumphs, we could see the rights to many iconic series reverting to their original creators. The Hollywood Reporter has shared a list of franchises that have allegedly received copyright termination notices from their authors. They include The Terminator, (whose rights would revert to James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd) Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Predator and Beetlejuice.
MORE FROM THE WEB
The article also contains the revelation that the latest Pet Sematary film was rushed through production because Paramount knew that the rights to the property were about to revert to author Stephen King. The famed horror writer has gradually been re-acquiring the rights to his novels over the past few years, meaning he now controls The Dead Zone, The Mist, Cat’s Eye, Cujo, Children of the Corn and Creepshow.
However, if the ruling in the Friday the 13th case survives legal challenge, this could signal a seismic change in Hollywood. On the plus side, it could mean that studios that have been sitting on the rights to particular franchises for years will have to give them up, with their creators free to sell them to companies who actually want to make a film. The downside, though, may be that ongoing franchises may find themselves curtailed, especially if the original creator has very different plans for the future of their property. Either way, it looks set to be an interesting time in Hollywood backrooms.