Friday the 13th Writer Wins Massive Legal Battle to Reclaim Franchise Rights
Friday the 13th writer Victor Miller is poised to reclaim the rights to the iconic horror franchise.
The battle for the rights was waged between Miller and Friday the 13th producer Sean S. Cunningham, who claimed Miller penned the screenplay on a work-for-hire basis for the Manny Company. However, the United States Court of Appeals For the Second Circuit ruled that Miller was, in fact, "Manny’s employee for Copyright Act purposes." As such, he is entitled to authorship rights.
The victory for Miller should come as good news to fans of Friday the 13th, as the rights issue was the primary roadblock in preventing a new film from being made. The franchise began in 1980 and has seen the release of 10 core films, Freddy vs. Jason and a 2009 reboot. However, Miller never penned any of the sequels.
"To be honest, I have not seen any of the sequels, but I have a major problem with all of them because they made Jason the villain," Miller explained in April. "I still believe that the best part of my screenplay was the fact that a mother figure was the serial killer -- working from a horribly twisted desire to avenge the senseless death of her son, Jason. Jason was dead from the very beginning. He was a victim. But I took motherhood and turned it on its head and I think that was great fun. Mrs. Voorhees was the mother I'd always wanted -- a mother who would have killed for her kids."