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OFF BEAT: Director Sam Raimi suing over rights to 'Evil Dead' franchise


Producer-director Sam Raimi is suing a film company that he alleges is interfering with his plans to make the fourth installment of the cult classic horror film “Evil Dead.”

Renaissance Pictures Ltd., the film company formed by Mr. Raimi, producer Robert Tapert and actor-producer Bruce Campbell to make the first film in 1981, last week filed a trademark infringement suit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles against Award Pictures L.L.C., according to news reports.

After Mr. Raimi announced plans last year to remake the original “Evil Dead,” Award Pictures reportedly attempted to block production and filed a complaint with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that Mr. Raimi abandoned the “Evil Dead” trademark.

As part of its argument, Award Pictures cited a 2000 comment he made in a book that he would not pursue an “Evil Dead” sequel, according to reports.

In the lawsuit, Renaissance Pictures reportedly said it still has the copyright to the cult film franchise and has used the trademark for licensing “Evil Dead” video games, dolls, clothing, memorabilia and comic books.

Renaissance Pictures alleges false advertising, injury to business reputation, unfair competition and trademark infringement.

Attorneys for Renaissance Pictures and Awards Pictures did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

Renaissance is seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.

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