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Raimi Blocks Evil Dead Sequel

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Raimi Blocks Evil Dead Sequel

Remake still coming

By Robert T. Trate     August 29, 2012
Source: Hollywood Reporter

 

Sam Raimi has prevailed in his effort to stop a production company from releasing an unauthorized sequel to his classic horror trilogy The Evil Dead.

n May, Renaissance Pictures -- formed in 1979 byRaimi, producer Robert Tapert and actor-producer Bruce Campbell for the purpose of making the first Evil Dead film -- sued Award Pictures, which was in the midst of making Evil Dead 4: Consequences. The movie was alleged to be interfering with Raimi's plan to make his own sequel for Sony Pictures and FilmDistrict.

After the lawsuit was filed, Award Pictures and its president Glenn MacCrae failed to respond in court.

MacCrae tells The Hollywood Reporter he still plans to challenge, but because of the nonresponse thus far in court, a California federal court last week entered a default judgment that permanently enjoins Award Pictures from using the "Evil Dead" trademark or using marketing materials that might confuse the public into believing that Award has rights to the title.

The fight over "Evil Dead" rights erupted in part because of Raimi's ambivalence until late.

In preparing Evil Dead 4, Award Pictures went to the trademark office and argued that since Raimi's first film came out in 1981, his company exhibited a lack of control over it, allowing it to be used as titles in 20 other motion pictures. Additionally, Award pointed to Raimi's comment in a 2000 book that he would never do a sequel as proof that the "Evil Dead" trademark was abandoned.

Renaissance challenged that assessment in a federal lawsuit.

Raimi's company then attempted to put proceedings at a trademark trial board on hiatus pending the outcome of the civil lawsuit. Award objected, saying it was having difficulty finding legal representation to defend the claims in federal court because IP lawyers were asking for tens of thousands of dollars in retainer fees to handle the case.

Award said paying lawyers wouldn't be a problem if Renaissance hadn't interfered wtih Evil Dead 4. Until then, MacCrae's company purportedly had a multimillion-dollar financing deal with Anchor Bay, which was "destroyed" by "fraudulent claims of ownership of the rights to The Evil Dead."

Regardless, the inability to retain a lawyer in time to answer Renaissance's lawsuit paved the way for a judge's decision to grant by default a permanent injunction.

 MacCrae now says he has hired a lawyer and that his company "is very definitely contesting Renaissance’s lawsuit." But the question is whether it comes too late. The fight might continue, but for now, Raimi has gained the clear advantage and succeeded in getting a court order that curtails Evil Dead 4. Meanwhile, Raimi has wrapped production on another Evil Dead film that he didn't direct but produced with others.

 

Thanks to Chopsaki for the submission.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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1 
isgrimner 8/29/2012 7:36:25 AM

I probably would only be interested in one that featured an old Ash, kind of like Bubba Ho Tep.   I definately wouldn't support some group just trying to cash in on the name.

monkeyfoot 8/29/2012 8:17:46 AM

Yeah, I don't understand a movie company trying to find some legal loophole to swipe a franchise. Why didn't they try paying for the rights from Raimi with a good pitch for an idea. Companies are always buying the DVD rights to semi-successful films and making their own sequels. I think there's been at least 3 Dr. Doolittle DVD sequels and one Hollow Man done that way. He probably would have said no but at least you would've tried the proper channels.

monkeyfoot 8/29/2012 8:20:19 AM

Hey,"serena" or whatever name you guys are trying this time, this is a sci-fi genre website if you hadn't noticed. Why don't you try advertising something that fits in here like inter-species love with aliens or elves?

Wiseguy 8/29/2012 8:35:04 AM

or monkeys....eh..eh?

I'm not a big fan of this franchise so I really don't care what they do or which way they go but as long as it looks good I'll check it out.

I know I read where Bruce Campbell was talking this new film up saying it's bloody and great but then again he has something to gain so can't really trust that as an unbiased opinion.

The best of the series was the 3rd, Army of Darkness, anyway. Wonder if they'd revisit that

aegrant 8/29/2012 9:49:14 AM

@Wiseguy I see what you did there

SmokingFrog77 8/29/2012 8:30:53 PM

I would love to see Ash wandering the post-apocalyptic earth seen in the alternate ending to Army of Darkness, only to meet up with Snake Plissken, who caused the "apocalypse" when he activated the Sword of Damacles superweapon at the end of Escape From LA. Snake & Ash, aka Kurt Russell & Bruce Campbell = UNTOLD AMOUNTS OF AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jetpackjesus 8/30/2012 2:33:01 AM

I'm with you, SmokingFrog, on the Kurt Russell & Bruce Campbell thing, but I would much prefer Jack Burton & Ash.

Betenoire 8/31/2012 10:14:57 AM

Rami's company may not be developing a sequel to the Evil Dead films (which at this point I'm fine with, really where have the got to go with them) but to claim they have done "nothing" with the franchise is absurd. Look at how they have merchandised the hell out of the series with toys, comics, games and damn near everything else other than a movie one could name.

That'd be like saying Disney has no interest in Micky Mouse because they haven't made a movie with him in years. Just ridiculously stupid. Given that the film makers seem to be desperate to call it that it makes me suspect that the film is a steaming pile they need a hook for and they thought it would fly under the radar until it hit the big screen and suckered a few people in who hadn't figured out it wasn't connected to anyone working on the original films. . 

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