Next month will see the long-awaited release of Terminator: Dark Fate, which marks the fifth follow-up to the original Terminator, which was released back in 1984. However, the new movie will serve as a direct sequel to 1991's Terminator 2: Judgement Day. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the original film’s writer, Gale Anne Hurd, has “moved to terminate a copyright grant made 35 years ago.” That means the current rights holder, Skydance Media, could lose them by November 2020. According to the report, David Ellison acquired the rights from his sister, Megan Ellison, who bought them for $20 million in 2011 at an auction.
The reason Hurd is able to move forward with this plan is due to a law amended by Congress in the ‘70s, which allows authors to “grab back rights from studios after waiting a few decades.” The Hollywood Reporter explains that the termination provision has mostly been used by musicians, but records “show a flurry of termination notices in the past year” that also includes screenwriters. This now “threatens to unsettle who owns the ability to make sequels and reboots of iconic films from the mid- to late-'80s.”
Now that the 35-year mark is approaching for many big properties, THR wonders how this will alter “an industry that prizes preexisting intellectual property.” They believe studios might be “hesitant to green light anything under a legal cloud.”
When it comes to The Terminator, it seems Hurd will have a 50-50 ownership split with James Cameron, the original film’s director who is producing the upcoming movie. If Skydance wants to continue making more movies after Dark Fate, they might have to renegotiate with both Cameron and Hurd.
After the THR published their story, Skydance Media responded with a statement: "Skydance has a deal in place with Jim Cameron and controls the rights to the Terminator franchise for the foreseeable future,” while Hurd did not respond for comment.
You can read the full article here.
You can check out the official synopsis for Terminator: Dark Fate below:
"Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (T-800) return in their iconic roles in Terminator: Dark Fate, directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool) and produced by visionary filmmaker James Cameron and David Ellison. Following the events of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator: Dark Fate also stars Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, and Diego Boneta."
Terminator: Dark Fate hits theaters on November 1st.