View Full Version : How to secure rights to a novel that's already been made into a film?

Fiveacre Films
06-23-2014, 05:03 AM
Suppose I wanted to write my own screenplay adaptation of a novel that's already been made into films twice before (in 1944 and again in 1978), and the author has been dead since the late '50s. Would I have to get permission from the author's estate, the film companies, or both?

Mick Scarborough
06-25-2014, 03:40 PM
You will need permission. As to who from, well that depends. If the author or his heirs sold the exclusive rights to either studio that previously made the films then you need to get permission from them or buy the rights. If the copyright is still retained by the athors heirs then you need their permission. Either way you can not make the film without permission.

02-08-2017, 06:34 PM
I would add that most likely, if a film company still owns the rights to a film adaption, they see some value in keeping those rights and are unlikely to give them up.