Warner Bros. and New Line have been sued for a second time in less than a month in a copyright action seeking to block “The Conjuring” sequels.
The suit also named Lorraine Warren, the paranormal investigator portrayed by Vera Farmiga in the film, as a defendant along with her son-in-law, Tony Spera, and publisher Graymalkin Media.
The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Houston by Evergreen Media Group and Tony Derosa-Grund — the same plaintiffs as in the March 28 suit, which alleges theft of the underlying rights to the case files of Warren and her late husband, Ed — along with Gerald Brittle, author of “The Demonologist.”
The new suit alleges that Brittle did not give permission for the defendants to use material from “The Demonologist” and asserts that the book is being used as the basis for the “Conjuring” sequels and its “Annabelle” spinoff, which is based on a possessed doll introduced in that film.
“This is a very clear case of Lorraine Warren and Tony Spera trying to end run a collaboration agreement the Warrens entered into with Gerald Brittle some 30 years ago,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Sanford L. Dow.
The new action seeks a jury trial and alleges fraud, copyright infringement, breach of contract, tortious interference and civil conspiracy.
A spokesman for the studio said of the second action, “We have not been served.”
New Line has set its “Conjuring” sequel for a pre-Halloween release on Oct. 23, 2015, with Patrick Wilson and Farmiga returning to star. The yet-to-be titled sequel has yet to find a director. New Line has already started filming the “Annabelle” spinoff.
New Line scored a massive surprise hit last summer with the first “Conjuring,” which was directed by James Wan and amassed about $320 million in worldwide box office on a $20 million budget.