If there is one thing that your calendar has told you about this upcoming fall season, it is that October pertains a very eerie event; a Friday the 13th. This event won’t happen again until 2023 – so this is a pretty big deal!
Now, since we have a Friday on 10/13/2017 this year… we should be getting a Friday the 13th movie, right? Unfortunately, this will no longer be happening this year – thanks to a gigantic rights battle that many fans feel will ruin the franchise entirely.
Originally, there were plans to have a new film for the franchise release on Friday the 13 in October this year as it is one of the most well-known horror series to date. However, the rights to both Friday the 13th and Jason Voorhees are in the midst of a gigantic legal battle, which could end ugly for fans of both the character and a franchise.
You’re probably thinking ‘wait a minute, isn’t Jason the killer in the Friday the 13th series? how are his rights separated from the series title?’
Well, for those who have been longtime fans of the series, the original script was written by Victor Miller – who originally wanted to title the film ‘Long Night at Camp Blood’. In the film, Jason was not the original killer. In fact it was his mother – Pamela Voorhees. Jason’s name was merely mentioned (with a very brief cameo appearance as a child at the end of the movie), and he did not become the iconic masked killer until the second movie: Friday the 13th Part 2.
A recent article from THR breaks down the filings and what each side is alleging, which is based around the idea of “work for hire” and where the concept for the film and character were created. Victor Miller, claims he wasn’t employed when he wrote the movie and thus is looking to terminate a grant of rights and reclaim ownership. Currently, he’s facing contentions with the 1980’s film producer, Sean Cunningham, that Miller wrote Friday the 13th as a work-made-for-hire and has no ability to terminate.
In the 1970s, the U.S. Congress amended copyright law to allow this and Miller is looking to do exactly that.
While the full implications aren’t explained, the website theorizes this Friday the 13th horror story: The franchise is ripped apart. In the United States, new films in the canon are made but without the “Jason” character. Outside the country, other Friday the 13th sequels come — these with “Jason” — but are banned domestically.
If that sounds odd, it’s all possible thanks to the 1976 Copyright Act and what happens soon in a Connecticut federal court.
Both sides have filed summary judgment motions, and a federal judge is set to make a huge decision for the entertainment industry.
Hopefully this a battle that can quickly be resolved – we would hate to see such a legendary horror series be torn apart over film rights.
The full battle for the rights to Jason can be viewed here.
In the mean time, fans of the franchise can get great joy and entertainment out of the Friday the 13th: The Game which is available for PS4, Xbox One and PC!
Source: Bloody Disgusting