Horror fans can now rejoice… Kinda?
On September 28th, the District Court of Connecticut ruled in favor of Victor Miller, the original screenplay writer of the legendary horror series, Friday the 13th.
Miller’s lawsuit was birthed out of an invocation of a theory of Copyright Law that allows for an author to essentially cut off a transfer of rights. The transfer in contention here was when Miller sold his screenplay to Sean Cunningham, the famed director of the series. Cunningham, owner of the film production company, Horror, Inc. turned this screenplay into 12 very successful films and other uses of the Jason Voorhees slasher likeness. After Miller hit him with the bombshell of wanting to terminate his rights, he sued Miller arguing that this provision is void due to the agreement being a work-for-hire. Under Copyright law, this theory basically assigns rights to the owner of the work being contributed to, the film in this case. Thus, Miller reneged on the original agreement.
The first round of this legal joust was awarded to Miller when his motion for Summary Judgment was granted therefore securing his rights inside the United States. Does this mean that in the near future Miller could deliver a film that truly redeems us from the ridiculous campy and abysmal, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan? ___________________________________________________________________________________