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The Rights to ‘Friday the 13th’ Are About to Enter a Battle

Freddy vs Jason via New Line

The last we heard about the long-running franchise was that Breck Eisner was in talks to become the director of a 13th entry in the Friday the 13th series and that the movie pretty much had to film in the next six months. Considering that it’s been seven years since Marcus Nispel’s 2009 entry, we’ve been left waiting for almost the longest delay in between entries, beaten only by the time between Jason Goes to Hell and Jason X. But a new legal complaint that’s sprung up could throw a wrench in plans.

Here’s the skinny: a federal court in Connecticut is about to host a lawsuit that will determine who owns the rights to the franchise. The case is between Victor Miller, the writer of the original film, and Horror, Inc. and the Manny Company, who claim that Miller’s script was done as a “work-made-for-hire”. Why does that “work-made-for-hire” matter? It’s actually the entire basis of the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs claim that Miller was hired by producer/director Sean Cunningham, which means that the rights have to fall back upon the employer, which, in this case, is Manny Company.

According to them, “Miller had never written a horror screenplay prior to his being hired by Cunningham and was guided in the process, and directly supervised, by Cunningham. Accordingly, Miller entered into an employment agreement with the Manny Company pursuant to which Miller wrote a screenplay for the Film as a work for hire (the ‘Screenplay’). (Source)”

Miller wants to take ownership of the rights, which will revert to someone in July of 2018. This case will determine not only who gets the rights but what the future of the franchise will be.

The full complaint can be read here.

At the end of the day, we’re not legal experts. As a result, we have no idea how this will actually affect a new movie. However, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on this and, if anything noteworthy happens, you best believe we’ll let you all know.



COMMENTS

93 Comments
  • rogXue

    screw the movie I’m concerned for the game!

    • Grimphantom

      Doubt the game will have any affect in this. It’s like Neca with the whole toy line of Friday the 13th.

    • The Drucifer

      No worries. It’ll come down to a fight over any royalties owed not the actual license in use. I’m getting my Machete edition no matter what.

  • Grimphantom

    …..

  • kevinhorror

    Victor Miller is just now suing? It seems very disingenuous to be making this claim now after what is about 35 years. He didn’t sue after part 2, 3, 4, etc… why now?

    • ScriptGiverTJ

      Victor isn’t the problem here. It’s $ean $. Cunningham.

      • kevinhorror

        How so?

    • Scotty James Savile

      No one is suing anyone. It’s just over who owns the rights to the franchise.

  • Creepshow

    As of this writing, this film is still (not) slated for a 2017 release.

    • CGP

      LOL. Says who? The internet?

      • Creepshow

        The internet is the “fountain of truth”.

        • CGP

          Well the actual fountain of truth (aka Paramount’s 2017 release schedule) begs to differ with your intel.

          • Creepshow

            Well, it was a joke. And I don’t give a rats ass about Paramount’s release schedule.

  • Frank Lloyd Jr

    The Friday franchise has a curse on it. A death curse!

    • diapers

      They are doomed… ALL DOOMED.

    • The Drucifer

      ..

  • RKSDooM

    I really like Mr. Miller’s work on the FRIDAY 1 script, but that having been said, every single description of how he came to the project, from him and from others, that I have heard or read over the past 25+ years makes it pretty clear that his contribution was of the “work-made-for-hire” variety.

  • El_Fez

    Aaaand, we’re done. I’ve seen many, many properties go into owner disputes like this, and it’s killed the franchise stone dead. Space Battleship Yamato? Two decades while Matsumoto and Nishizaki sorted out who owned what. That 16 year long gap between License to Kill and Goldeneye? Because the guy who owned the rights to remake Thunderball was throwing a temper tantrum, killing any move Eon could make.

    So yeah, we’ll get Friday the 13th XII sometime in 2029. . . ..

  • It drives me crazy that somewhere out there is a great Friday film from someone with a real passion for the franchise, and we’ll probably never see it.

    Yeah, that applies to dozens of horror properties, but Friday the 13th is one I’d especially like to see return in full force. One can dream, right?

    • This.

      I want so badly to see a something from someone that is already a lifelong fan of F13 and knows how a F13 film is supposed to be made. Not someone that’s just doing it for a paycheck. They probably have hundreds, if not thousands, of true fans with spec scripts that are actually good. Not the over-produced studio bullshit they’re no doubt trying to crank out at Paramount.

      • CGP

        While I agree with you, the issue is that Paramount isn’t really interested in the “base” so to speak. They want a movie that’s going to reach a new generation (read: mainstream millennials). It’s a sad fact that the fans cannot carry a property like this at the box office. It has to hit another “quadrant” of audience.

        • MadCows

          But you see, if you appeal to a certain audience and change everything the franchise is to gain that appeal from younger generations you end up with something like Halloween: Resurrection.

          • CGP

            Again, I agree, but if they don’t make certain concessions, then there is no commerce.

            I love Friday, but it’s a dead franchise. Even though the 2009 reboot did way better than expected at the box office, it dropped off the radar quickly and there was really no enthusiasm for a sequel.

          • BLKHRT

            It’s a dead franchise because of the individuals involved with trying to revive the decaying, smelly set of films. Jason, and Friday as a whole, is certainly capable of being successful again, but it’s a matter of creating something visceral enough to satiate the horror fans.

            There was also a TON of enthusiasm for a sequel between 2009-2011. Even with a lackluster reboot, the idea of Jason in the snow, etc, was a huge talking point. It died because everyone realized the individuals with the firm grasp on the property were only capable of producing capital-T turds. Put it in the hands of more capable parties and it’s all but a certainty interest will generate again. There are also numerous directors who, while totally unlikely they would ever accept the role of creating a new Friday, could generate mainstream interest. It’s hard to argue, from a promotional standpoint, a Friday film failing with the likes of a Raimi, Wan, or even a grand return from Gunn to the genre directing.

          • CGP

            There wasn’t a ton of enthusiasm outside of our little fanboy circle. They did marketing research. No one really liked the reboot and they sussed out that a sequel would not do well.

            I think (in tying in what I mentioned in my prior comments), you’re looking it through the narrow lens of horror fans. That’s not enough to get a movie of this stature made anymore. They will forsake the fans to gain a wider audience, and that’s just commerce.

          • BLKHRT

            Using that logic, how is it possible for us to see another Blair Witch, but not another faithful Friday? The narrow lens of horror nerds didn’t prevent a movie whose last edition came over a decade ago from having a sequel made, which will also be promoted in the most mainstream manner possible over the next two months. Horror is actually one of the most profitable genres in theatres; the problem is the exponentially low ratio of horror released to other genres like dramas and comedies. There’s nothing niche about the genre anymore, only its subject matter. It’s universally accepted and watched enough to not be any discussions surrounding a “wider audience” anymore. Unless we’re comparing to that of a big box superhero movie or animated feature, of course. It’s not as taboo as you make it seem like.

          • CGP

            You’re not understanding me. I am not arguing with you.

            Found footage became hot again, which is why they rebooted Blair Witch. And they also did it for $3.2m – Friday costs significantly more because of all of the people who own a piece of the pie.

            What I’m saying is that if they make the movie that fanboys want, it will alienate the stupid mainstream horror watchers who pay way more than we do at the box office.

          • ScriptGiverTJ

            Why is this dude trying to argue with you?

            BLKHRT you do know CGP works in the industry, has many resources for info, is in the know, and isn’t just going off his passionate opinion alone such as you are? Right?

          • I honestly think that they could make a good Friday sequel on a bare bones budget and produce, at the very least, a moderately successful film. F13 doesn’t really lend itself to big budget style, IMO.

            Jason doesn’t need an expensive set or a CW/Disney Channel cast to hack up. A bunch of nobodies would bleed just the same as teen idols. F13 is about blood and guts with a paper thin storyline. That’s why people liked them in the first place.

            Ultimately what gets lost in big productions is heart and passion, and audiences sense that, and that’s what turns them off. And in this case, I really think Paramount and PD just don’t get that. I feel like studios in general are seriously underestimating what
            ambitious directors and producers can do with small budgets, and are
            really ignoring the quality of work they can create.

          • CGP

            I’ve said this again and again, but you guys are not listening. Just greenlighting a Friday film costs lots of money because so many people get paid if the rights are exercised. So there is no bare bones option.

          • Simon Allen

            OOOOOOOOHHHHHHH YOUR SUCH AN AUTHORITY ON EVERYTHING AREN’T YOU !!!!
            woe be tied anyone who disagrees with you , makes a joke or has their own opinion !!!!

        • Justin McGill

          HONESTLY.. any of these studios could pick.. 10-12 hungry FAN directors.. let them work out a script. give them a budget fo 3 MILLION.. give them the money to go out and film.. just whoever.. odds are at LEAST one of those films would be good.. and you only spend 40 MILLION on 10-12 movies..you could burn the rest.. and release the ONE good one.. sheesh. and it would still be more cost effective than the crap they’re churning out..

    • Simon Allen

      Well said that man !!

  • Francesco Falciani

    he just wants the whole rights after 2018…but the new movie will be out next year. don’t worry they are making this fucking movie and never ill happen to it.

  • Francesco Falciani

    and the don’t worrie about suing…”the conjuring” had 3 of them, rights, money and sequel…but nobody stopped new line to make “annabelle” and “conjuring 2”,

  • MadCows

    I just want some to get the rights that actually wants to make a movie.

  • CGP

    This will have zero effect on whether or not the new film goes into production. Nice try though.

    • CLK

      CGP, what’s going on with The Predator? It seems that Shane Black is having trouble casting his lead. Which he shouldn’t. He’s Shane Black!

      • CGP

        No idea. Not really interested in Predator, but I’ll see if I can dig up info.

      • CGP

        That was easy. It’s already cast with someone else. James Franco passed. They are four weeks out from shooting. Casting will be announced shortly.

        • CLK

          Very interesting. Thanks for that.

          Any hints as to who it could be? If I was a betting man I’d say it’s Tom Hardy, considering he should be wrapping Dunkirk soon.

          • CGP

            Oh, I didn’t ask who it was. I’ll find out.

          • CLK

            Cool, thank you! Franco would’ve been inspired but I’m sure Shane chose the right guy.

          • CGP

            There you go!

          • CLK

            I would’ve preferred Hardy or Bale, but Del Toro is good.

            Do you know anything about the script at all?

          • CLK

            Hey, sorry for being a pest lol but did you ever ask about who the lead is in The Predator?

          • Simon Allen

            If Tom Hardy is in Predator i will move to Cleveland start cross dressing and change my name to Trudy !!!!

          • CLK

            Hey DISQUS, can you create a block feature?

            This is an example of why it’s needed.

          • Creepshow

            Trudy with the Fruit Hat. I like it!

          • Simon Allen

            I saw your little note to DISQUS asking them to create a block feature so fools like myself couldn’t ridicule you with a semi-humorous comment
            re your preposterous suggestion that Tom Hardy would be the lead in the new Predator movie .
            Here is my advice to you …take the stick out of your ass and learn to face the world with your tongue in your cheek.
            It makes life more pleasant .

          • CLK

            Oh my god just leave me ALONE you psycho.

          • CLK

            Looks like they do have a block feature. Good day.

          • Simon Allen

            Let’s see if it works shall we?

          • Simon Allen

            OOPS !!! Doesn’t seem too ?
            Relax dude i won’t waste my time bothering someone of such a nervous disposition again ….i’m not a Troll !!

          • Creepshow

            Stop offending the precious snowflakes, you big scary man.

          • Simon Allen

            I’m done now ….Honest !!

    • BLKHRT

      Yet maybe it should. Uninspired choices are continuously being made by Platinum Dunes, a company with a terrible track-record of producing horror films. It’s high time they divert their attention towards a genre they may stand a chance of doing justice. “Nice try, though” is precisely what crosses my mind every time I watch a film affiliated with that company.

      • CGP

        Platinum Dunes only cares about $.

        Their remakes are not for horror fans.

        • CLK

          Did you find out who’s leading The Predator?

        • BLKHRT

          Precisely the reason they should remove themselves from the proverbial fold entirely.

    • Simon Allen

      I read your message to DISCUS about creating a block feature to block comments like mine about your comment on Tom Hardy being in Predator !!!!!
      Get a sense of humour and take that stick out of your ass ….who died and made you the humourless god around her ?

  • BLKHRT

    IF this were to stop the planned film with Platinum Dunes from going into production, I’d be all about it. Enough with the halfhearted attempts at bringing back our classic slashers; until they’re able to think a bit more outside of the box or someone else grabs these rights, leave ’em on the shelf.

  • DJV1985

    I’m sure, and I may be misremembering this, but wasn’t there a documentary where the original writer said something like “Cunningham contacted me and said have you seen that Halloween film? Well I want a film like that” and he wrote the screenplay that’d become Friday the 13th” I’m positive that was said by the original writer…

  • Khy

    Friday The 13th is DEAD. Halloween is DEAD. A Nightmare On Elm Street is DEAD.

    They were products of their time. You can’t make a decent Friday, Halloween, or Nightmare in this day and age.

    It’s over. Forever. It hurts like a bitch to say that, but its true. We ALL have to move on.

    • Creepshow

      NOTHING IS OVER! – John Rambo

      • Simon Allen

        NEVER NEVER NEVER COUNT JASON OUT !!!!!!

        • Creepshow

          Honestly, I’m not a cheerleader for F13th. I was just looking to quote Rambo. Look, I’ll do it again…

          “Murdock….I’m coming for YOU”!

          • Simon Allen

            Hey your gonna love this …..This self-righteous CGP asshat who’s suddenly all over here wrote to DISCUS requesting that they create a block feature for my Tom Hardy/Predator/Cross dressing comment .
            FOR GOD’S SAKE !!!!!
            Get a sense of humour you absolute fool !!!

          • Creepshow

            They must be from Cleveland. And asshats don’t like fruit hats.

          • Justin McGill

            to paraphrase Scream 2.. “the line it… I’m coming to GET YOU.. this is film class right?” LOL…

          • Creepshow

            A thousand pardons. I’ll try to clean that up.

    • AdamX

      Actually today’s horror should fit Jason/Michael perfectly. Big silent killers but instead of home invasion or found footage they just do their murdering while out and about. Also why can’t Nightmare be made into an animated franchise? Get Englund but to voice and then get as whacky as you wanted with the nightmares.

      • Creepshow

        Get those animated ideas…Outta here!

        • Simon Allen

          Horror movie cartoons ?
          I’m adjacent to vomiting .

      • Meisha’s Taint

        Animated????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

        Fuck no

    • Meisha’s Taint

      It can still be done with the right people/cast.

      Attach Mickey Keating or Ti West to the picture and it could be amazing

    • silentevil77

      you can’t kill something that won’t die Michael,Jason,and Freddy will out live us all

  • Simon Allen

    Another fucking delay …..at this rate i will be in a goddamn walking frame and collection my pension before Jason get’s another outing .

  • A-TOWN CALI DUDE

    Aww FUCK!!! Just when this was FINALLY getting off the ground. Oh well Jason Voorhees had a good run while he was up, time to leave the hock at the bottom of Crystal Lake.

  • Flu-Like Symptoms

    Too many asshats vying for Jason’s wallet and not enough looking to actually make a film. One of the easiest movies to make has become one of the most impossible to get off the ground.

    • Meisha’s Taint

      “One of the easiest movies to make has become one of the most impossible to get off the ground”

      You nailed it right on the head! It’s so absurd

  • Francesco Falciani

    one thing…after 36 years Miller woke up and decided to have the whole rights? WTF…these guys (Miller, Georgetwon, and Cunningham) only want spill money from the franchise and they don’t give a shit about friday the 13th, Jason or fans. this is sad.

  • Satanzilla

    Who names their kid after a women’s hair product?

  • Adam Clifton

    Wow. 13 really is an unlucky number

  • Ivy Julia Carey

    Ugh, when will the fuckery ended

  • Erik The Red

    My dream movie will always be Freddy vs Jason vs Ash. I know it’ll never happen but it would be phenomenal. It would’ve made bank. Oh well, there is always Ash vs Evil Dead season 2 in October. 🙂

  • marklola12 .

    don’t need another Friday movie anyway, they are pretty boring, dull deaths all the same
    nightmare needs a proper remake

    • Meisha’s Taint

      You don’t belong here

    • El_Fez

      So what’s it like to hate joy?

  • Маразм Клинический

    Go suck dick, Miller. You have no right to deprive us of the upcoming film, scum.

    • CLK

      …………

    • c-s-a78

      8===D

  • David Nagle

    BUT NOTHING SAY HERE THAT THE NEW FRIDAY MOVIE IS BEING CANCELLED ??

this week in horror

This Week in Horror - August 7, 2017

The hard copy of Friday the 13th: The Game is coming, Sarah Paulson joins M. Night Shyamalan's Glass, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark gets a re-release with the original art.

Posted by Bloody Disgusting on Monday, August 7, 2017
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