Rights for ‘Terminator 4’ are All Wrong

Variety is reporting that all the hullaballoo about a Terminator 4 hitting theaters might have been a bit premature as the holders of the rights to the film are suing MGM, claiming the studio is interfering with their right to negotiate for the distribution of the planned fourth installment of the highly successful series.

Who are these “rights holders”? Why Halcyon Co. and its principals, Victor Kubicek and Derek Anderson.

These folks acquired the rights in May, which is when we heard news about a possible new trilogy of Terminator films. Along with the rights to the fourth installment they also acquired sequel rights to Terminator 2 and Terminator 3 and a script by T3 writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris, with plans to launch a big-budget sequel.

Variety goes on to say that according to the complaint, filed in L.A. Superior Court on Wednesday, MGM claimed it had acquired an exclusive 30-day negotiation window for T4 in the 1990s Orion Pictures bankruptcy. T Asset, the plaintiff and Halcyon’s subsidiary, did not concede MGM’s rights but began negotiations in May over distribution. T Asset claims MGM’s exclusive window is now over despite MGM’s claims in the media that it has the right to distribute T4. The suit seeks a declaration and injunctive relief.

Apparently producer Moritz Borman began negotiations with MGM chief operating officer Rick Sands on May 31. The deal proposed by MGM for worldwide distribution included a commitment of almost $200 million and gave MGM approval over budget, script, director and male lead. It also included a lower backend participation to T Asset. With the 30-day period running out, the two sides could not make a deal.

The big beef is that MGM was saying T Asset had to continue negotiating with them and that it would prevent T Asset from negotiating with other studios. Then MGM is saying they weren’t allowed to look at the script and MGM isn’t going to be giving out the same deal given to T3 with Arnold Schwarzenegger out of the lead role.

Variety quoted and MGM spokesman saying, “MGM is completely comfortable with its rights position on the ‘Terminator’ franchise, and we will not allow anyone to interfere with our rights.”

Personally I don’t think we need another Terminator movie and we already have the TV show hitting the small screen. Do we really need more? Let’s come up with new ideas guys.

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