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Billion Dollar Lawsuit over THE CONJURING

ALMOST a billion dollars. It’s actually about a hundred million short of that, but when you get to such an exorbitant sum, that’s chump change. The guy suing Warner Brothers is Gerald Brittle, who in 1980 wrote a book about the alleged true-to-life exploits of Ed and Lorraine Warren, the exploits that have since inspired the films THE CONJURING, its superior sequel, THE CONJURING 2, and an inferior spinoff, ANNABELLE. The sticking point is, did the Warrens grant exclusive and binding rights to their life stories to Brittle? If they signed such a contract, then they wouldn’t have been legally able to grant those rights to the movie studio. The studio, however, countered that the films are based on “historical facts” and not Brittle’s book. It’s an interesting legal quagmire.

It could come down to the defendants, i.e. Warner Brothers, having to offer proof that the events depicted in the films actually occurred. Proving that the films chronicled actual incidents, which would be part of the public record, and thus free of copyright entanglements, may become intrinsic to their not getting slammed with a huge bill. THAT would make for some riveting courtroom shenanigans, wouldn’t it? Of course it’s Hollywood, so they’ll probably end up just buying the guy off, figuring it’s easier in the long run. That may well be why Brittle is asking for such a bloated figure, allowing himself some comfortable wiggle room for the inevitable payoff. It’s like haggling over buying a car. They’ll keep going back and forth till they settle on a figure. That’s my prediction, anyway. Time will tell.

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!

TheCheezman • April 9, 2017


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