Sam Raimi's production of the Evil Dead remake—which just began shooting in New Zealand, thanks for asking—affirms that, if anyone is going to tack a modern addition onto his famed horror cabin, he's at least going to be there to watch over it. Unfortunately, Raimi may soon be forced to go to court to protect that position: Raimi's Renaissance Pictures is suing the appropriately hubristically named Award Pictures over its declared intent to make Evil Dead 4: Genesis Of The Necronomicon—the first in a proposed new Evil Dead "series"—that Award has had in some state of delusional "development" since 2004, alongside other fine, Award-worthy pictures such as Fairy Princess.
Naturally, Raimi and Renaissance partners Bruce Campbell and Robert Tapert aren't pleased, claiming in court papers that Award is using the Evil Dead trademark improperly to "summon" investors. And in more slyly Evil Dead-referencing real events that Raimi might find amusing if this whole thing weren't so irritating, Award counters that they awakened the power of the trademark after reading a passage from a book—specifically 2000's The Evil Dead Companion, in which Raimi and Tapert remarked that there would "never be a sequel."
To Award, that constituted a public abandonment of the trademark, which they believe is further shored up by the 20 or so knock-offs that have popped up over the years with Evil Dead in their titles, something which Award says is not only evidence that Renaissance failed to regulate their brand, it even makes their current attempt to hold onto the trademark evidence of their "defrauding the industry." Because why simply try to justify stealing someone else's property when you can also accuse them of being swindlers? You're not a crass opportunist—you're Robin Hood.
Anyway, in addition to having the entire Internet-reading world mock Award Pictures, Renaissance is suing for an injunction and punitive damages, among other things. Hopefully that also includes enough to make up for the revived Evil Dead 4 rumors that The Hollywood Reporter unwittingly called from their grave by offhandedly referring to the Evil Dead remake Raimi is currently making as the "sequel he plans to make." Although, forcing Raimi to finally go through with that might make this whole mess worth it.
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