The Friday The 13th lawsuit appears dead

Somewhere at the bottom of Crystal Lake (or, perhaps, frozen aboard some spaceship lost in the cosmos), the immortal hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees awaits his return. It’s been an appropriate 13 years since he last waved his machete in the direction of a pair of humping camp counselors, and thanks to an ongoing lawsuit over ownership of the character, his wrists might not be getting a proper workout for some time.

However, there’s always a chance that he’ll make his return. As such, there’s been a break in the case. In September, Victor Miller, the screenwriter of 1980’s Friday The 13th, won a “copyright termination appeal” against the producers, meaning the rights to the characters and locations found in the original Friday The 13th movie will revert to him. Previously, the producers argued that they hired Miller as an independent contractor. The court disagreed.

Yesterday, entertainment Larry Zerner tweeted that no appeal has been filed against the court’s decision, so Miller will retain ownership of the original screenplay. It should be noted that Zerner isn’t just a copywriter lawyer, he’s also the actor who played Shelley in Friday The 13th Part III. For those unfamiliar, Shelley is the rightful owner of the hockey mask, which Jason stole from Shelley after slashing his throat.

Now, Zerner admits that this doesn’t necessarily mean a new Friday The 13th entry is on the way. He notes that Sean S. Cunningham, the producer of numerous Friday The 13th installments and the director of the original, probably “realized that a cert petition was a real longshot and didn’t want to waste his money.” Though the lack of appeal does crack open the door for a resolution outside of the courts, Zerner admits he “wouldn’t hold [his] breath.”

According to Zerner, it comes down to a couple of tangled legal threads. First and foremost, Miller only owns the U.S. rights to the first movie’s screenplay, meaning that Crystal Lake, Jason Voorhees, and his mother, Pamela, are his. Therefore, while “Sean owns adult, hockey mask-wearing Jason,” Lerner writes, he “can’t legally use him in a movie without Victor’s permission.” He also notes that tomorrow is Cunningham’s 80th birthday, which is nice.

Where does that leave us? Well, without a new Friday The 13th movie for now. This Jason drought might seem like a late holiday gift for the parents, religious groups, and censors that waged war against these films in the 80s. But after a decade without our big galoot around to stuff a sleeping bag with horny college kids, we’re desperate for his return.

[via Slashfilm)

Источник: Lifehacker