If you’ve been loving Hollywood’s enthusiasm for endless remakes and reboots and retreads then great news: there’s even more on the way because some big franchises will be leaving studios shortly and reverting to their creators.
And there’s no way that said studios aren’t going to shake that IP until coins jangle the hell out.
The short version of the long story is that the rights to use any piece of intellectual property can only be granted for a limited amount of time before it reverts to its creator.
It depends on the nature of the work, the details of the deal and the territory the copyright covers. However, it’s one of the reasons why a lot of bands suddenly put out box sets and reissues about thirty years after being huge: chances are they’ve suddenly gotten their masters back and are desperately attempting to make up for all that lost superannuation they weren’t earning while sitting in the back of smelly tour vans.
Anyway: there’s a test case making stately progress through the courts in the US regarding the convoluted rights to the Friday the 13th franchise, which already has a tangled history. Fun fact: for one thing, when New Line bought the franchise after Paramount’s deal elapsed, they couldn’t use the name “Friday the 13th”, which is why all their films had “Jason” in the title instead.
And depending on the outcome of said deal, some big name franchises are going to be yanked off the market and back to their creators, including Terminator and Predator.
And as we’ve seen in the past nothing guarantees terrible films like something rushed to market by a studio shared of losing their rights. 2015’s Fantastic Four, anyone? Hey, who loved the quick-before-Stephen-King-stops -us 2019 remake of Pet Sematary?
Of course, there’s a new Terminator film coming shortly which might reinvigorate the moribund franchise, or finally kill it off for good.
But expect a rushed new Predator flick before too long as the rights holders try to squeeze some final money-drops from its dried up husk – and for your other fave film franchises to follow.