It would seem that the movie franchise, The Conjuring has been haunted by the evil spirit of law suits ever since its first appearance in 2014. Although Warner Bros. had been successful in driving away the previous suits, the franchise has finally come face-to-face with yet another legal demon. Though, this time, no holy water, cleansing or chanting can make the recent one go away.
The suit is filed by Gerald Brittle, author of the 1980 book titled The Demonologist. He claimed that his book has exclusive rights to the stories from the famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren- the protagonists of the Conjuring movies. The lawsuit for copyright infringement claims that Brittle has the exclusive rights to “create derivative works based on the Warrens’ cases,” which the couple had agreed to authorize in 1978, and also that they would not allow any other “competing work” in regards to the “same subject” to be produced based on their lives. So, naturally the lawsuit pointed out, Lorraine Warren did not have the right to grant Warner Bros the permission to use her old case files to make the Conjuring movies.
Brittle further accuses the studio saying they “knowingly never bothered to obtain”, his permission or any support. “It is very hard to believe that a large conglomerate such as Warner Bros with their army of lawyers and who specializes in IP rights deals would not have found ‘The Demonologist’ book or the deals related to it, or Brittle for that matter” claims the suit.
Brittle has truly become an evil entity for the production house as he demanded a hefty sum of $900 million in damages. However, the aggrieved author does not wish to stop at damages, he had his attorneys send a cease and desist notice to Warner Bros. and the Conjuring producers before the release of The Conjuring 2. I guess it is safe to say hell hath no fury like an author scorned.
Interestingly the studio and the producers reasoned that the supernatural horror movies are actually based on “historical facts” and not his book; The Demonologist. But Brittle is not going down without a fight, and retaliated saying that their reasoning cannot be justified. The Warrens themselves have been spent all these years lying and fabricating their stories, to make their adventures sell. Hence the movies cannot possibly be based on historical facts because ghosts are not real.
If Warner Bros. studio and the Conjuring director, James Wan, were in fact aware of Brittle’s book, before making of the movie in 2013, such discovery could prove to be a game changer, and by the present status, it looks like Brittle may never need to write another book for the rest of his life.