Like the angry specter of a hanged witch, the lawsuits delaying the production of The Conjuring spinoffs and sequels Annabelle and The Conjuring 2 refuse to go away. New Line Cinema and its parent company Warner Bros. have already tried sprinkling holy water on Tony DeRosa-Grund, executive chairman of Houston-based Evergreen Media Group; last month, DeRosa-Grund filed a lawsuit alleging that New Line had failed to pay him for the story rights to The Conjuring sequels. But that merely riled the litigious spirit, and now the case has grown into a full-on legal war over who owns the life stories of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in the movie).
DeRosa-Grund alleges that New Line is attempting to circumvent its agreement with him by claiming that Annabelle and The Conjuring 2 are actually based on The Demonologist, a 1980 book about the Warrens that covers the same material as the “Annabelle” and “Enfield Poltergeist” case files New Line licensed from Evergreen back in 2010. But further complicating matters is that the rights to The Demonologist are also in question, since Warren’s son-in-law recently sold the book to a new publisher, who then turned around and sold the movie rights to New Line, which author Gerald Brittle claims is in violation of his agreement with the Warrens. So now DeRosa-Grund and Brittle have joined forces to sue New Line and Mrs. Warren, who they claim has “no rights in connection with The Demonologist that can be exploited by New Line and/or Warner Bros. without Mr. Brittle’s permission.”
So basically, a guy who wrote a book about Lorraine Warren is joining forces with the guy who owns the rights to her case files to sue her—as well as the studio that made a hit film about her—because they say she still owes them money for her life story. And that’s why your spooky doll movie is going to be late.
Send your Newswire tips to firstname.lastname@example.org