’80s Movie Franchises Are About To Undergo Some Big Changes

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Over the last decade, Hollywood has been inordinately preoccupied with the ’80s, a trend that probably stems from the fact that many children of this era now work in the industry. However, it turns out there’s another plausible explanation: according to The Hollywood Reporter, a ’70s law that allows screenwriters to reclaim the rights to their work 35 years after “publication” is resulting in “a flurry of termination notices in the past year,” changing the ownership of popular franchises like The Terminator, Beetlejuice, Die Hard, Predator, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. In essence, these notices give studios a two-year window to do something with these franchises before the rights revert to the original writers. Apparently, one such deadline inspired Paramount to green-light the recent Pet Sematary remake.

“Since the author has to give at least two years notice of the termination, that gives the studios two years notice that it’s ‘use it or lose it,’” said entertainment attorney Larry Zerner, a former actor who played a key role in the third instalment of Friday the 13th, another one of the affected franchises. “Even if Paramount was on the fence about a remake, once the termination went into effect, it would be out of their hands or they would have to pay a much larger fee.”

While the studios might suggest otherwise, this is probably good news for fans of these franchises—many of which have been dormant for years—as it creates a new sense of urgency about reviving them, as well as an opportunity for interested parties to take control and take action. Of course, this isn’t a major concern for fans of The Terminator series, as it has remained active over the years, with the latest entry (Terminator: Dark Fate) arriving in theatres on November 1. Check out the trailer below.