Friday the 13th Legal Battle May Be Over
The legal battle for the rights over Friday the 13th and our beloved hockey masked, machete wielding maniac has been pretty hard on horror fans over the last few years. It's shelved films, merch, Neca figures, more downloadable content for Friday the 13th: The Game as well as any future plans for the character and franchise. However, as of this afternoon there may have been a breakthrough.
Entertainment lawyer Larry Zerner has been keeping fans updated as best he can whilst dealing with the legal shitshow between Sean Cunningham and Victor Miller. And according to Zerner, the case is officially over as Cunningham/Horror Inc. has failed to file a cert petition by the 4pm deadline. As of this writing, Victor Miller is allegedly (still) the official rights holder to the original Friday the 13th screenplay (in the US only).
"It's 4 pm and I still don't see a cert petition filed with the Supreme Court in the Friday the 13th case. What does this mean? Well, it means the case is officially over and Victor Miller owns the rights to his screenplay in F13 (but only in the US). Does this mean that the parties have settled or are close to settling (and a new movie is forthcoming)? Not necessarily, it could just mean that Sean Cunningham realized that a cert petition was a real longshot and didn't want to waste his money. However, the fact that he didn't file a cert petition makes it (very) slightly more likely that the parties are working out a resolution. But I wouldn't hold my breath." - Larry Zerner via Twitter.
If you are sat there wondering "What does this mean for the franchise and Jason exactly?", don't stress as you're not the only one. Basically they both still need to come to some sort of an agreement as Miller could make a new Friday the 13th film, but it would only be allowed to be released in the US. And whilst he owns the rights to the original script (in the US), Cunningham owns the adult, hockey mask wearing Jason Voorhees we have all come to know and love. But Cunningham can't use adult Jason in a new film without permission from Miller. Anyone else's head hurt?
"Can Victor and Sean just each make their own separate movies? Not really, because Victor only owns US rights and only to the first script and Sean owns adult, hockey mask-wearing Jason but can't legally use him in a movie without Victor's permission. It's complicated." - Larry Zerner via Twitter.
In short Victor Miller and Sean S. Cunningham need to come to an agreement that would be mutually beneficial to both of them and the legions of fans desperate to see Jason return to the big screen. Fingers crossed that happens sooner rather than later. And if you're struggling to wait for a new Friday the 13th fix, check out some of the best fan films HERE.