How Comic Book Rights Fouled Up TNT's TALES FROM THE CRYPT Reboot

Tales From The Crypt #2
Tales From The Crypt #2
Credit: EC Comics

Earler this year, TNT cancelled its planned Tales from the Crypt reboot citing unspecified legal rights issues, but now Turner CCO Kevin Reilly has come out to say it was over the ownership of the rights to the original comic books.

“It’s been fun with lawyers, it’s been really fun,” Reilly said in a press scrum reported by Deadline. “We did not know from the get-go or else we would not have announced it and made a big deal out of it. But in fact there were rights. It is among the most - if not the most - complicated rights structure I’ve ever seen in my career, and we had no idea as we got into it. It became a nightmare. So we said, ‘Fine.’ If and when this gets cleaned up, we’ll revisit.”

The tv/film rights for Tales from the Crypt was sold piecemeal - with specific stories from specific issues going to one company, and others to other companies. The 1990s HBO series licensed the title and some of the stories, but also used stories from sister anthologies such as The Haunt of Fear and The Vault of Horror.

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