During the 1980s, when many of the most iconic horror monsters first star their turns on the silver screen, it became common practice to parse out the rights the franchise. While this was a way for independent filmmakers to make money, it means that legal ownership of the characters can be murky. As these characters retain their popularity and make millions in merchandise, this can become a thorny issue. It recently became an issue with Friday the 13th. The game was a big success but a contentious court battle between director Sean Cunningham and screenwriter Victor Miller kept further DLC from being released. It has also slowed the making of any future sequels.
The question of rights can often be a million dollar issue. Now Clive Barker has filed a lawsuit for the rights to Hellraiser.
Hellraiser is one of the most enchanting and original horror series of all times, but it has fallen on hard times. Several direct to video sequels have tarnished the reputation of Pinhead. Barker, the writer and director of the original Hellraiser film, has already reclaimed the character in his novel The Scarlet Gospels. Now he's out to reclaim the cinematic rights.
Friday the 13th actor and entertainment lawyer Larry Zerner tweeted that Barker is going for the rights. He wrote, “For those of you who like the Friday the 13th lawsuit, now Clive Barker has sued for a declaratory judgment that he can terminate his 1986 transfer and get back his rights to the Hellraiser franchise.”