'Friday the 13th' Producer Points to Writers' Union Membership in Bid to Retain Franchise Rights

June 13, 2017Media Mention
The Hollywood Reporter

Imagine this Friday the 13th horror story: The franchise is ripped apart. In the United States, new films in the canon are made but without the "Jason" character. Outside the country, other Friday the 13thsequels come — these with "Jason" — but are banned domestically. If that sounds odd, it's all possible thanks to the 1976 Copyright Act and what happens soon in a Connecticut federal court.

Horror, Inc. and Manny Company, a successor to the company that originally produced Friday the 13th, say in court papers filed Friday that it was Cunningham who conceived of the idea to do a Halloween-type film, that it was he who hired the team, including Miller, to develop the idea, that it was he who obtained financing and that it was he who controlled all creative decisions.

Bonnie Eskenazi, representing the producers, writes that Miller was and still is a member of the Writers Guild of America, and that when the author scripted Friday the 13th, he did so pursuant to a standard form WGA employment agreement.