Those who have been slavishly following any and all news bits concerning Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Interstellar—the story of a group of astronauts dealing with theoretical physics, time travel, and, because this is a Nolan movie, we’re gonna go ahead and assume that the unreliable protagonist’s love interest dies at some point and Michael Caine will show up to give fatherly advice—will have noticed that not one, but two movie studios will be producing the film. That’s right, both Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. will be sharing the rights to the co-produced feature. Curious how the two rivals managed to come to such an agreement?
It all comes down to rights trading—specifically, the rights to the Friday the 13th and South Park film franchises. Albeit a tad complicated, it breaks down like this:
In the 1980s, the Friday the 13th series was negative pickup franchise which was released domestically by Paramount and internationally by Warner Bros. And despite a brief buyout of rights by New Line Cinema in 1990s/2000s, the rights were basically split 50/50 between WB and Paramount. Further, due to a complicated series of various corporations owning the South Park TV series, Warner Bros. had a stake in the Paramount-released South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.
But in order to get a piece of the likely quite lucrative Interstellar pie, Warner Bros. has inked a deal in which the rights to the Friday the 13th and South Park films will revert completely back to Paramount; however, there is a catch. Paramount must release a film for each franchise within a five year span, or Warner Bros. will get their share of the respective franchise’s rights back once again. It’s all a bit eye-crossing, but in the end, it spells one thing: everyone wants to get in on the Nolan action.
What do you think of the Warner Bros./ Paramount news?