He may be a notorious blade-carrying slasher roaming about the campgrounds of Camp Crystal Lake, but fans love their Jason Voorhees just the same and long to see him again. After all, what is Friday the 13th without him? Ah, but there are legal complications that might as well have ‘ole Jason still buried deep in the lake.
King of Horror novelist Stephen King tweeted in 2020 that the best novel idea he never wrote and probably never will is Jason. On Halloween 2018, NBA’s LeBron James showed up to a Lakers’ game dressed as Jason Voorhees, namely the all too spooky hockey mask. James previously called the series one of his favorites. Of course, King and James (no pun intended) are not the only people dying (figuratively speaking) to see Jason on the loose again. Scores of fans are taking to Twitter to toast the killer on his special day. One fan got very creative with Bob Villa.
Will Legal Troubles Be the Weapon That Finally Kills Jason Voorhees?
Whenever Friday the 13th rolls around, most horror flick lovers are reminded of the tale of Jason Voorhees as they get ready to enjoy a marathon of the iconic film’s sequels. For now, there are only those recollections of Jason exacting revenge on camp counselors who continue to trek their way to Camp Crystal Lake. There have been no fresh kills since 2009’s Friday the 13th.
Although a heated lawsuit between Sean S. Cunningham (producer and director of the original film) and Victor Miller (the first film’s screenwriter) has reached somewhat of a conclusion over rights, everything is still not settled. Miller only owns US rights and only to the first script. Cunningham owns adult, hockey-mask-wearing rights, so Jason cannot legally use them in a movie without permission. Jason’s mother was the killer in Miller’s original film.
Larry Zerner, an entertainment attorney representing Victor Miller, portrayed victim Shelly Finkelstein in 1982’s Friday the 13th Part III before becoming a lawyer. Zerner’s character was a prankster who, along with his friends, was attacked by Jason. After his character is killed, Jason takes ownership of the now infamous mask Shelley used to scare the bejeebus out of one of his friends. As for the complicated legal battle, Zerner offers one last resort if a deal is not reached. The popular franchise will be in the public domain in 53 years, and then anyone could make the movie. Friday the 13th fans may not be too thrilled about waiting that long.
Original Friday the 13th Writer Believes Jason Voorhees Was Done Wrong by the Franchise
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