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Friday the 13th lawsuit -- the saga continues

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  • Friday the 13th lawsuit -- the saga continues

    We will not get a new movie until this issue is resolved.

    According to IPwire, Victor’s first draft may have been circulated before he signed an agreement with Sean Cunningham:

    Miller wrote and provided a first draft to producer Sean Cunningham’s company without any contract or guarantee of payment, enabling Cunningham to raise money and attract talent to proceed with the project. The parties executed a screenwriting agreement on June 4, 1979, but newly discovered evidence suggests that Miller’s first draft was already complete prior to the date of that agreement. Specifically, a memo to Cunningham from his assistant documents a conversation with Tom Savini dated May 22, 1979

    —its contents are significant because the assistant mentions that Tom requested to see a script and that she will send him the “first draft.” In addition, a letter addressed to Savini dated May 23 states, “I am enclosing the first draft of FRIDAY 13 [the working title at the time], as per our conversation yesterday.” This, of course, begs the existential question of how Cunningham’s assistant could have sent Savini the requested first draft script unless it had already been written.

    This is an interesting development that was introduced late in litigation. If this is true, it would prove that Victor was not a work for hire employee and did indeed conceive of the story before being employed by Sean Cunningham. In affect, it could help dismiss the suit against Victor Miller and finally brings the rights issue to a close, or at least a negotiation of rights between all parties involved.

  • #2
    A little more background here:

    Update here:

    Basically Miller is entitled to legally (and in my opinion, ethically) to stake an ownership claim over a piece of work he’s written. Sean Cunningham claimed Miller was a ‘for hire writer’ and was paid to write a script based on a story, whereas Miller says (and the court has agreed) he wrote it himself and wasn’t paid for hire.

    I’ve been seeing a lot of social media activists (you know, those cancers that like posts and comment degrading things about the new female Doctor in Dr Who) who are furious with Miller and sending death threats. “You’re the reason the game has no new content. You’re the reason we haven’t got a new film.”

    Actually, if people bother to read, it’s clear: Cunningham is a bit of a prick and wants to hold on to his cash cow and not give up rights or entitlements. Imagine Sam Raimi lost the rights to Evil Dead? Does he not deserve public recognition and residuals for his franchise? Same thing there: Miller wrote the movie, and deserves credit and residuals.

    Now, what does this mean for the future of the franchise? It’s still unclear, because the court case is still ongoing; only part of the case has concluded. But, Miller is credited as creator of the Pamela character, boy Jason (NOT adult Jason - not Sackson or Hockeymask Jason), Friday the 13th name, Crystal Lake etc. So perhaps, similar to when New Line Cinema got the rights for future Jason films, they didn’t have the right for the ‘Friday the 13th’ name. Horror Inc can continue to make films, but right now it’s about splitting the assets and figuring out who owns what exactly. It’s basically a divorce and things need to be split fairly.

    But you’ve also got the issue of Pamela appearing in Part 2, and flash backs of Boy Jason, or Boy Jason in Part 8, and FvJ etc. So the next step, as I understand, is for the assets to be split and ownership delegated.

    I feel pretty confident a new movie will come out. It’s too profitable. The problem is - BECAUSE it makes money - the rights need to be figured out. Miller wanted a slice of the pie he helped make. It’s not his fault. It was Horror Inc not wanting to share.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Andiac View Post
      The problem is - BECAUSE it makes money - the rights need to be figured out. Miller wanted a slice of the pie he helped make. It’s not his fault. It was Horror Inc not wanting to share.
      Miller was not paid or hired to write the script. Thus, I agree that he deserves his slice of the pie.

      Heck, if I were him, I would be pretty annoyed with Pamela and parts of the original story being referenced in the sequels.