Now this is kind of amusing and a bit complicated but I’ll try to make it reasonably understandable. Author Gerald Brittle published a book in 1980 called The Demonologist recounting the cases handled by Ed and Lorraine Warren, the self-styled paranormal investigators who were involved in a number of famous ‘hauntings’ including the Amityville hauntings and the Enfield poltergeist. James Wan’s highly successful 2013 movie The Conjuring features Ed and Lorraine [played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga] as principal characters and tells the story of the Perron family, another case documented in Brittle’s book. Brittle is suing Warners for because he says he has exclusive rights to “create derivative works based on the Warrens’ cases”, which he secured from the Warrens in 1978, before publishing his book. And he claims that Lorraine [Ed died in 2006] had no right to grant Warners permission to fictionalise her case files.
Okay, you with me so far? Well, Brittle is also angry at Warners because they claimed that it was fine for them to make The Conjuring since it was based on “historical fact” and not anything reported on in The Demonologist….which Brittle says is nonsense, claiming that much of what the Warrens said happened in the Perron household and in other cases didn’t actually happen, and so can’t possibly be called “historical fact”. His lawyer also writes in the complaint: “There are no historical facts of a witch ever existing at the Perron farmhouse, a witch hanging herself, possession, Satanic worship or child sacrifice.”
Brittle is seeking damages, plus an injunction to stop any further films based on the Warrens from being made. Warners says it hasn’t been served with the complaint yet and hasn’t made any other comments on the issue so far. At the moment this doesn’t seem to affecting the Conjuring Cinematic Universe with Annabelle: Creation and The Nun on the way.
I wonder if Brittle would have bothered doing this if the films hadn’t been so commercially successful?….