Back in August it looked we were heading for one helluva a court battle. One side we had an author who penned the books that may have served as the inspiration for the current “Conjuring” universe. On the other side we had a giant movie studio who profited greatly off of the “Conjuring” films. And in the middle? A billion dollars and a challenge to prove ghosts were real.
Now if you haven’t been keeping up with this saga, here’s a brief breakdown I previously wrote:
When author Gerald Brittle penned ‘The Demonologist’ for Ed and Lorraine Warren in 1980 it was done with the understanding that any movie deals utilizing events described in the book could not be agreed to without his involvement. A smart move considering that in 1977 “The Amityville Horror” (a case the Lorraines were involved with) had rocked the nation. Among the events described in the book the two most notable cases involve a creepy doll named Annabelle and the Enfield Poltergeist.
Flash forward to 2013 and Warner Bros, along with New Line, releases the hottest horror film of the year: “The Conjuring.” It’s a huge film and it’s release would go on to inspire another sequel and two spin-off films with two more possibly in the works. Everything seems grand and it would seem that everyone is getting nice and wealthy off of the films success, right?
Not quite. You see, somewhere along the line it appears that somebody forgot about Gerald Brittle’s deal and now, while the iron is hottest, the author is striking. Brittle is arguing that Warner Bros and New Line willfully ignored the fact that he was to be included in any movie deal discussions and that they have infringed on his copyright as they have taken works from his book. In particular the story of Annabelle and the Enfield Poltergeist.
So what was Warner Bros biggest defense against this lawsuit? They were pushing the idea that they Brittle can’t copyright true events and that everything that he wrote about had actually happened. Therefore their defense would partially rely on them having to prove that ghosts and demons were real in court in order to show that everything in “The Demonologist” is true and not a work of fiction. This was gearing up to be the best court battle of all time . . . until yesterday.
It has been revealed that Gerald Brittle has dismissed his claims against Warner Bros and New Line and that a settlement took place over the weekend. Why the sudden change of heart? Well, in a case that was already shaping up to be pretty crazy an even crazier twist has taken place. In a Scooby-Doo esque twist the true mastermind behind the lawsuit has been unmasked and it’s . . . OLD MAN TONY DEROSA-GRUND!
Tony DeRosa-Grund served as a producer on first “Conjuring” movie and then attempted to sue Warner Bros multiple times claiming that he was owed money still. It got so bad, according to Deadline, that he was ordered to no longer pursue lawsuits against Warner Bros. However, that didn’t stop DeRosa-Grund as he began to sponsor Gerald Brittle and his lawsuit against Warner Bros. In fact, Brittle even says that DeRosa-Grund pretty much controlled the whole situation. Here’s what he had to say about Tony’s involvement according to Deadline:
Mr. DeRosa-Grund has been controlling this Litigation from the start. Based on a review of text messages between Mr. DeRosa-Grund and my attorney, I understand that he even threatened my attorneys that if they sent information from me without him seeing it first they would be fired. When my attorney informed Mr. DeRosa-Grund that I was the client, and needed to approve discovery responses, Mr. DeRosa-Grund responded: ‘Good, then get Gerald the [sic] fucking Pay you’ and then stated ‘Oh yeah he doesn’t have a pot to piss [sic] and I for~ot.’
So now that DeRosa-Grund has been revealed to be behind this lawsuit, his involvement taints the whole thing and it sounds like Brittle’s best option was to just abandon ship and settle. As Deadline points out, DeRosa-Grund may now be in trouble for his actions in this whole affair and could wind up having to pay up.
So it’s a big bummer that we didn’t get to see the court battle in which Warner Bros summoned a demon in the middle of a courtroom, but an old fashioned unmasking is pretty fun too.