Gavel Bangs On Court Battle Over ‘Friday The 13th’

by Thomas Tuna

Well, Jason had his day in court–but who really won?

An ongoing nasty legal tussle between Sean S. Cunningham, the producer/director of the original Friday the 13th, and screenwriter Victor Miller would finally appear to be over, according to a report on

Having lost the initial judgment and appeal a few months ago, Cunningham could have petitioned the Supreme Court for additional action, but–according to entertainment attorney Larry Zerner (who also appeared in Friday the 13th Part III)–the producer did not file his petition before the deadline.

What does all this mean, in Zerner’s opinion? “The case is officially over,” he tweeted. “Victor Miller owns the rights to his screenplay of Friday the 13th–but only in the U.S.”

Zerner added that the fact that Cunningham didn’t file the petition “makes it slightly more likely that the parties are working out a resolution. Can Victor and Sean just each make their own movies? Not really, because Victor only owns the U.S. rights and only to the first script.”

According to Zerner, Cunningham still owns the rights to “hockey mask-wearing Jason, but can’t legally use him in a movie without Victor’s permission. It’s complicated. Hopefully, we’ll hear some good news in the future.”

The 1980 Friday the 13th–directed by Cunningham from a screenplay by Miller–follows a group of teenage camp counselors who are murdered one by one by an unknown killer while attempting to flee Camp Crystal Lake.

The film–starring Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby and Laurie Bartram–was a box office juggernaut, earning nearly $60 million on a $550,000 budget. That success spawned numerous sequels, a crossover with the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and a 2009 reboot.

Keep reading Horror News Network for any updates on the future of the Friday the 13th franchise.

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