'Friday the 13th' Writer Admits Fight for Franchise Rights Is a "Nightmare"
Friday the 13th fans have been waiting a decade for a new installment and that wait doesn't look like it will come to an end anytime soon. A messy legal battle is underway between the original film's director and writer over who has ownership to various elements of the franchise. Writer Victor Miller recently admitted that he hopes to see the issue resolved as much as fans do, though admits that's easier said than done.
"Everybody's trying to settle all the little things and dot the I's, get the semicolons where they belong, and all that kind of stuff. Who gets what. Who has to give what to whom. So, to me, it's a nightmare," Miller shared with IAnthonyD on YouTube. "If you've got two sides across the table… this is poker. And you don't get to say, 'Well I'll take half the money and you take half the money.' That's not how it works. I can't be more specific than that."
Director Sean Cunningham aimed to capitalize on the success of Halloween by securing the rights to a holiday for a slasher movie and hiring a writer to develop a film based on the title "Friday the 13th," with Miller ultimately writing the script for the film. The 1980 film was a huge success, earning 10 sequels and a reboot. The biggest legal issue comes down to the concept of adult Jason Voorhees, who became a staple of the series, though this character didn't happen until the second film, which Miller didn't write.
While a judge ruled that Miller owns the title "Friday the 13th," various other elements of the franchise are being disputed, resulting in appeals filed by Cunningham.
"It has to be done by people who do this for a living. I don't know how that plays," Miller noted. "Eventually, I will have to approve something. I'm just sitting here saying, 'Hey look. I got the copyright for the first one. Let's talk.' And these people have been dining out for thirty years. They don't want to part with a cent. I would love to be more involved [in more Friday the 13th sequels]. So who knows. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. I can't think of anybody better. I am not dragging my feet."
Potentially complicating matters is that Lebron James has previously revealed he is attempting to secure rights to the franchise so he can help develop a new film. Given that Miller has, for all intents and purposes, "won" the dispute, he spoke to the fans who have harassed him for causing snags in the series.
"All is forgiven," Miller pleaded. "I want what you want."
Stay tuned for details on the future of the Friday the 13th franchise.
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