Legal issues won't stop Friday the 13th reboot by OG creator

Cunningham is working on rebooting Friday the 13th, although it might never see the light of day.


Sean S. Cunningham produced and directed the first Friday the 13th film in 1980. It started a horror franchise that has since seen the release of 12 films, a television series, video games, novels, and comic books, amongst other items.

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Cunningham directed the first Friday the 13th film.

Unfortunately for Cunningham, and fans of the franchise, he has been mired in a legal battle with Victor Miller, who co-created and wrote the script for the original film, about who owns the rights to which parts of the content. Due to this battle, Cunningham has been unable to work on any new installment to the franchise.

Miller launched a suit against Cunningham over a decade ago that saw him [Miller] reclaim the rights to the original characters as well as the story. While Cunningham challenged the judgment, he lost and was effectively barred from the franchise.

However, the same is not true of Miller, who can order a prequel series as long as it doesn’t trespass and use elements from the other films in the series. The writer did just that and is reportedly working on a prequel series for Peacock with Bryan Fuller, of Hannibal fame, and A24.

Now, Cunningham seems to have followed in his footsteps. In what will be welcome news to fans of the franchise, the director and producer is pressing ahead with development on a reboot despite the legal battle. However, it remains to be seen whether the project will see the light of day.

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The last Friday the 13th film debuted in 2009.

Jeff Locker revealed to Bloody Disgusting that Cunningham hired him to rewrite The Night Driver. However, during the project and the ensuing conversations, they talked about Friday the 13th and House. He stated that he and director Jeremy Weiss pitched an idea that Cunningham liked. The horror film veteran director then gave his approval for them to continue developing the idea.

Locker further stated that he wishes both sides of the lawsuit, namely Cunningham and Miller, will come together and collaborate to give fans a worthy Friday the 13th film starring Jason. In his words, "Obviously, the prequel TV series has reignited interest about a new film so we’re hoping the surrounding excitement will inspire both sides to come together and give us Jason on the big screen again for the first time in 14 years, but we also have a Plan B for a sequel to the original we think fans will absolutely love and should avoid any legal entanglements."

The original film debuted in cinemas on May 9, 1980. It starred Betsy Palmer, Kevin Bacon, Mark Crosby, Adrienne King, and Laurie Bartram. While it didn’t impress the critics, it was a box-office success.

By the way, Cunningham is working on more than a Friday the 13th reboot. The horror auteur is also repeatedly working on a reboot of House, which he produced in 1985, as well as an original film titled The Night Driver.


Tobi Oguntola

Tobi is an avid reader with interest in everything entertainment. He also loves the big screen as it fuels his overactive imagination. When he is not reading a fantasy, sci-fi, or thriller novel, he is listening to music, watching TV, or surfing the internet. Tobi is on Steam as tobioguntola.
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