Terminator 4 hit by lawsuits
I'm hopeful that Terminator 4 will not be made, and news out today suggests that there are a few problems that just might hold it back from production. The current holders of the rights of the Terminator franchise have taken legal action against MGM who are claiming that they have rights to the franchise too.
Let's try and make a little sense of this. Back in May Halycon purchased the rights to Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines sequels, as well as a new script from the Terminator 3 writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris. Halycon have been planning to bring the series back to life with a big budget sequel, and this would be without Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead.
Now it appears that MGM had a thirty day period in which to negotiate the rights to the franchise during the 1990's bankruptcy of Orion Pictures, the then holders. No one at the time conceded MGM's rights and began negotiations in May regarding distribution.
T Asset, the company that owns the rights and a subsidiary of Halycon, are saying that MGM's exclusive window is over. T Asset are taking a hard stance and saying you missed your window, tough, whereas MGM are saying that they still retain control. It's all rather confusing, because reading the report from Variety, who are never all that great with their online writing, it seems pretty clean cut. MGM missed their window, rights are over to T Asset.
However if it turns out that MGM have a case, they are claiming that Terminator 4 can't get the same distribution deal as Terminator 3 without Arnold Schwarzenegger as the lead. That probably means new negotiations, more cost, smaller deal, more studio involvement, etc, etc. MGM are confident that they are in the right.
Whatever happens I just hope that it means Terminator 4 won't be made as a poor mans Terminator, sliding the franchise down even further than Terminator 3 took it.