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Clive Barker Has Started A Lawsuit To Reclaim ‘Hellraiser’ Film Rights

It’s been a tough time for certain horror properties, most notably the Friday the 13th franchise, which has been famously caught in a variety of lawsuits over the last few years – putting an end to several ongoing projects. However, the copyright law which started the ordeal – something which allowed original screenwriter Victor Miller to try and reclaim rights to his script – is something that applies to essentially any property in the US. This means that as time goes on, we’ll probably be seeing quite a few similar lawsuits. And this now includes Hellraiser – as it’s been revealed Clive Barker has started a lawsuit for a declaratory judgment to regain his rights to the franchise.

The news was revealed by entertainment lawyer Larry Zerner, who had the following to share:

“For those of you who like the Friday the 13th lawsuit, now @RealCliveBarker has sued for a declaratory judgment that he can terminate his 1986 transfer and get back his rights to the ‘Hellraiser’ franchise.”

This seems to spell doom for any new Hellraiser projects currently in the works. However, he did mention that they still have a chance of happening – as long as the projects are released before December 19, 2021. As stated:

“Barker’s termination (if effective) would not take place until December 19, 2021,” he explained. “If the producers can get a new movie out before then, they would be legally in the clear. Just nothing new after that date.”

Of course, things might still be complicated there. The current Coronavirus pandemic has delayed a vast amount of projects in Hollywood – including the new attempts at reviving the Hellraiser franchise. It’s also worth mentioning that there seems to be different rights holders for the film rights and the television rights, which could introduce even more individuals into this lawsuit. After all, aside from Spyglass Media developing a new movie, we also have HBO developing a new TV series. And we’ve seen what complications can do – as proven with Friday the 13th – so let’s hope Hellraiser doesn’t end up in the same kind of legal purgatory.

However, those little complications are just assumptions – all we know for certain is Clive Barker is attempting to sue for rights to the first Hellraiser film. What happens after that, and who will oppose or even strike a deal with him is yet to be seen. But hopefully things will work out for the best.

Until then, stay tuned to ScreenGeek for any updates on the situation.

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