Betsy Palmer—who played Pamela Voorhees, the mother of masked killer Jason, in the original Friday the 13th and its sequels—told SCI FI Wire that she believes the current trailers for the upcoming reboot movie use her voice without her permission.
Palmer added that she confirmed that fact to a Paramount lawyer and believes that her voice has since been excised from the trailer. (Paramount co-financed the remake with New Line.)
As of Thursday, however, the trailer on the official Web site still features what sounds like Palmer's voice-over, though it's abbreviated from an earlier trailer (which you can watch after the jump).
It's not clear whether Paramount or New Line indeed used Palmer's voice in the trailers or, if they did, whether they needed Palmer's permission. Indeed, some of the lines seem slightly altered, suggesting that the voice-over is either an imitation of Palmer or a cleverly re-edited version of the original. Neither studio returned phone calls from SCI FI Wire on Thursday.
[Update: ShockTillYouDrop quotes an editor saying that the voice is definitely NOT Palmer's.]
[Udate two: A Warner spokesperson now tells SCI FI Wire that the voice is not Palmer's. We'll get more information soon.]
Palmer, however, is sure it's her. "I've just gone through a thing this week where I was called and asked whether the voice in a sequence of dialogue was me," Palmer said during an exclusive phone interview with SCI FI Wire. "The woman who called me, I think she might have been from Paramount. She said, 'Would you listen to what we have?', and I said, 'Sure.'"
Palmer famously appears in the final scenes of the original Friday the 13th and reveals that she, not her deceased son Jason, is responsible for the murders at Camp Crystal Lake. It is her memorable monologue at the end of the film that is used in the trailer for the new film, from director Marcus Nispel.
Palmer is certain the voice-over is hers, not an imitation or a re-recording. "I said I'll know whether it's my voice or not, because they claimed that they had someone imitate me and imitate my voice," Palmer said. "She played it on the phone for me, and I said, 'Oh, no, that definitely is my voice.'"
Palmer said hearing the recording brought back memories of the character from 30 years ago. "It's my reading of the lines, too," she said. "I know what I was feeling at the time, which would of course color the sound and the dialogue. I hear that [it] has been taken off as of yesterday or so, because it is my voice, and they never got permission. I think who called me was a lawyer from Paramount, so [that's] how complicated it all is. I keep thinking, what else can happen as far as this crazy movie is concerned?"
When asked whether she would return to the series for a proper role or even a cameo, Palmer said, "There was a rumor that they were going to ask me, and they called the gal who represents me. They called and said would I be available, and I never heard from them again. I kept thinking, 'Why would they want to use me 30 years later to be Ms. Voorhees again?' So it never came to pass."
Friday the 13th opens on Feb. 13.