Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Clive Barker and the “Hellraiser” Rights Legal Battle

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Mary Anne Butler
Mary Anne Butler (Mab) has been part of the fast-paced world of journalism since she was 15, getting her start in album reviews and live concert coverage for a nationally published (print) music magazine. She eventually transitioned to online media, writing for such sites as UGO/IGN, ComicsOnline, Geek Magazine, Ace of Geeks, Aggressive Comix (where she is still Editor-in-Chief), Bleeding Cool (where she was News Editor), and now NerdBot as News Editor. Over the past 10 years, she’s built a reputation at conventions across the globe as a cosplayer (occasionally), photographer (constantly), panelist and moderator (mostly), and reporter (always). Interviews, reviews, observations, breaking news, and objective reporting are the name of the game for the founder of Harkonnen Knife Fight, a Dune-themed band with an international presence. Though she be but little, she is fierce.

Asking someone who their favorite film horror figure is can be something you do on a first date [speaking from experience]. You’ll more than likely get a slew of Freddy, Jason, and Michael Meyers, but the rarity is my personal answer- Pinhead from “Hellraiser.”

Brought to life in the iconic 1987 film by horror master Clive Barker and actor Doug Bradley, the dark franchise is currently the subject of a court case. Barker is seeking to have the rights to the “Hellraiser” saga revert back to him.

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Entertainment and copywrite IP lawyer Larry Zerner weighed in, posting the case docs for the declaratory judgement Barker is seeking.

Back in December of 2019, Barker served the defendants with a statutory termination notice, seeking to end the use of his Hellraiser rights and materials by the defendants.

This suit came right after Spyglass Media confirmed their work on a new reboot with David S. Goyer and director David Bruckner, as well as HBO announcing their plans for a “Hellraiser” tv series with “Halloween” reboot director David Gordon Green at the helm.

Zerner does point out if the judge/jury find in favor of Barker, the rights termination would not go into effect until December of 2021, plenty of time for SpyGlass or HBO to get their projects out without penalties or copy write infringement.

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We’ll let you know what else we hear about this case.

Would you WANT more “Hellraiser?” Much as we do, we’d love to see Pinhead back in Clive Barker’s capable hands.

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