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Wes Craven’s Estate Reacquires US Rights to Nightmare on Elm Street Franchise

September 20, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare on Elm Street

The rights to the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise are back in the ownership of the franchise creator’s estate. Bloody Disgusting reports that the United States rights to the franchise have been regained by Wes Craven’s estate, using the same tactic that Victor Miller did to claim rights to the Friday the 13th franchise.

The legal situation surrounding such works is a bit complicated, but boil down to the fact that copyright law allows for authors to, upon fulfillment of some requirements, take back copyright they have sold after 35 years. 2019 marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the franchise. While the Friday the 13th rights are in dispute because director Sean Cunningham’s Horror Inc. refutes that Miller is eligible, no such situation is surrounding the Elm Street series.

What this means exactly is that Craven’s estate now controls the future of the franchise going forward, at least in the United States. Internationally the copyright laws are different and Warner Bros./New Line still own those rights. Whether this will turn into a situation where the two sides have to make a deal for any future films or TV series isn’t yet clear.