Dubious lawsuit erupts over rights to Evil Dead sequel

dubious lawsuit erupts over rights to evil dead sequel evildeadcampbell

A book published in the year 2000 features a quote from Evil Dead creator Sam Raimi claiming that he would never make a sequel in the horror-comedy franchise. Award Pictures claims this single quotation is evidence that Raimi has abandoned the rights to make any future Evil Dead movies, and has thus decided that it will make its own sequel. Raimi’s Renaissance Pictures — a production company founded by Raimi and Bruce Campbell specifically to make the Evil Dead series — has taken issue with this idea, claiming that a mere quotation, taken out of context, can not be legally binding.

And yet Award is so sure of its claim that the entire mess must now be sorted out in a California court.

As The Hollywood Reporter points out, Raimi changed his mind about his earlier comment last year, and Renaissance Pictures subsequently applied for a trademark on a remake of the original Evil Dead. All seemed to be going well (and fans were giddy at the news), but shortly after the application Award Pictures filed an objection stating that it now owned the rights to the franchise. As proof, Award pointed to a passage in The Evil Dead Companion in which Raimi states, “We’re never going to do a sequel.”

In its objection, Award claims that “This statement is a public declaration by the defendant that the defendant abandoned the alleged ‘mark,’ Evil Dead, decades ago.”

Additionally, Award claims that the dozens of films created since the original Evil Dead using the words “evil” and “dead” in their titles constitute a minor form of infringement on Raimi’s original trademark, and that by not taking these films to court in an effort to defend the trademark, Raimi effectively gave up all rights to the series. In the spirit of fair play, Renaissance Pictures’ lawsuit against Award claims that it had indeed been making use of the trademark by licensing the Evil Dead name and all associated likenesses to video games, toys and comic books. Likewise, it claims that Award’s intended Evil Dead 4 would cause confusion among consumers who are anxious to see a true Evil Dead sequel.

Award is seeking ownership of the trademark, while Renaissance is seeking monetary compensation for damages against the trademark that it claims Award has perpetuated with its objection.

If this all sounds like incredibly shady business tactics, that’s because it is. One hopes that any sane intellectual property judge will see this suit and laugh Award out of the courtroom, but as THR points out, it does illustrate the importance of vigilantly defending one’s trademarks. Or, at least, of never offering off-the-cuff remarks about your future plans. Coy denial is the key lesson here, boys and girls. Never, ever let the other guy know what you’re thinking, lest he decide to swipe your rights to strap a chainsaw to Bruce Campbell’s arm.

Movies & TV

‘Sopranos’ prequel ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ adds ‘The Punisher’ star

The upcoming movie The Many Saints of Newark, based on HBO's hit series The Sopranos, will serve as a prequel to the show. It will focus on Tony Soprano as a boy, as well as the race riots that rocked Newark in 1967.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Movies & TV

Epic sci-fi novels you should read before they become blockbuster films

You can get ahead of the next crop of science-fiction movies coming out of Hollywood by picking up the books that inspired them. We compiled a list of books you can add to your reading list now to get a glimpse of the future.
Gaming

These are the classic NES games that helped redefine gaming

The NES left an indelible mark on pop culture and revolutionized the gaming industry. Check out our picks for the best NES games, whether you prefer an immersive RPG, side-scrolling brawler, or something else entirely.
Gaming

Still have holiday cash to blow? Grab one of these awesome Xbox One games

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Movies & TV

CBS recruits Michelle Yeoh for ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ spinoff

Yet another Star Trek show is on the way. CBS confirms that Michelle Yeoh will return to play her Star Trek: Discovery character, Philippa Georgiou, in a spinoff centered on Starfleet's clandestine Section 31.
Movies & TV

Oscar-winning FX master explains why ‘First Man’ is a giant leap for filmmaking

Paul Lambert, the Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor on First Man, reveals the innovative techniques that blended old footage with modern movie magic to make the Apollo 11 mission to the moon resonate with audiences 50 years later.
Movies & TV

First ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ trailer offers a peek at life after ‘Infinity War’

Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have released the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, set in the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Movies & TV

Curious about 'Spider-Man: Far From Home'? Here's everything we know so far

Despite some mystery surrounding Spider-Man's future after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters in July 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Deals

Stream UFC Fight Night 143 for free with this ESPN+ trial offer

If you're looking for a way to watch UFC Fight Night 143 and other upcoming sporting events on mobile, then ESPN's premium mobile service has you covered, and you can even take advantage of a seven-day trial to stream it totally free.
Movies & TV

How much does Netflix cost? Here’s a pricing breakdown of its plans

Wondering how much a Netflix subscription costs? You're not the only one. That's why we put together a quick-hit guide covering all the Netflix plans, whether you want to opt for 4K streaming or a disc-based option.
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.