Do Pending Lawsuits Mean No Terminator 5?

Published 6 years ago by , Updated August 19th, 2009 at 11:31 am,

terminator 5 Do Pending Lawsuits Mean No Terminator 5?

Just a couple weeks after we reported that McG was prepping Terminator 5, it appears that the film may be dead in the water. According to a number of sources, a proposed sequel to this year’s underwhelming Terminator: Salvation may be out of the question due to a legal dispute between The Halcyon Co. (which own the rights to the Terminator franchise) and Pacificor (a Santa Barbara, California-based hedge fund that helped Halcyon buy the franchise).

As explained in the L.A. Times, The Halcyon Co., which is headed by Derek Anderson and Victor Kubicek, has filed two separate $30M lawsuits against the company (one against Pacificor and one against a former Pacificor employee).

What’s all the litigation about?

I’m glad you asked, because it’s a little complicated. The lawsuits stem back to April 2007, when Pacificor first issued Halycon a $30M loan to acquire the rights to Terminator. In December of 2007, Pacificor provided an additional $5M bridge loan to Halcyon. This month, Pacificor filed a lien against Dominion Group (a subsidiary of Halcyon, which is also operated by Anderson and Kubicek) for the $5M loan. According to Anderson and Kubicek, however, they don’t owe a penny. According to them, Pacificor filed the lien in a “desperate and deliberate attempt to seize ownership and control of the Halcyon entities and of the ['Terminator'] franchise.”

Juicy stuff, right? The second lawsuit against former Pacificor Vice President Kurt Benjamin is even better. According to that lawsuit, Benjamin committed fraud by knowingly hiding the fact that he was working for Pacificor at the time he was negotiating with Anderson and Kubicek. By not disclosing his relationship with Pacificor, Benjamin was able to negotiate better terms for his company. Anderson and Kubicek also claim in their lawsuit that Benjamin encouraged them to invest in the production of a Terminator Salvation video game which would help ensure that the company “would not be able to meet its obligations and would therefore fall under the total control of Pacificor.” (Not very much faith in the video game, ay?)

The complaint also alleges, among other things, that Benjamin “blackmailed” Halcyon by forcing the company to pay kickbacks to close its various loans, that Pacificor CEO Andrew Mitchell demanded a $250,000 a year salary to serve on Halcyon’s board, and that fellow Salvation producer Moritz Borman intentionally forced the film over budget so the company would default on its loans.

What does this mean for Terminator 5?

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your opinion of Terminator), because of the lien against Dominion Group, Anderson and Kubicek have been unable to borrow money against their $7.5M producer fees for Terminator: Salvation to begin production on Terminator 5. In fact, according to Variety, T. Asset Acquisition (the Halcyon subsidiary which owned the Terminator rights) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Because the Chapter 11 filing comes only one day after Halcyon filed its two lawsuits, it seems like a pretty sure sign that the company will not retain the rights to the franchise.

Does this mean there will be no Terminator 5 ever? Of course not! It’s Hollywood, and in Hollywood there’s nothing better than a franchise. It’s impossible to speculate exactly when a Terminator sequel could come out or what it could be about until this litigation is resolved. However, assuming that Pacificor wins the rights to Terminator as collateral for Halcyon’s unpaid loans, there’s no reason to suspect that the company would not try and produce their own film. Even though Terminator: Salvation had a hard time finding an audience, the Terminator franchise still has strong value and it would be foolish for Pacificor to simply let it go to waste.

What do you think? Is there still hope for the Terminator franchise?

Source: Variety and L.A. Times

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  1. @Josh R

    Even though he didn’t actually write it, the director has a lot of influence over the script and plot of the movie. If he really thought it was bad, he would have done something about it. I’m not saying he’s a BAD director, but he’s certainly not a good one. He’s good at the technical aspects, getting the shots, directing the action and whatever, but I think his judgment in the plot and dialog is a bit lacking. I just hope they get some good writers for the next one so at least it’ll be a bit more entertaining to watch than T:Salvation. Salvation was an ok watch, could have been much better though.

  2. Mcg and Bale can’t take the blame.
    It was the folks behind the scenes telling them and tricking them into it…
    Bale was duped and Mcg wanted this to be his break out film success…

    Read between the lines of this article. These snakes that are suing each other are to blame…

  3. If you read the LA Times articles, it turns out that these two guys, Kubicek and Andersen, are not even from Hollywood, they’re just two guys who got off the bus and borrowed the money to make Terminator 4 as their first movie. No wonder the thing was messed up. If you make 300 million on a movie and still go bankrupt there’s something wrong and it ain’t the director!

  4. Forget the movies! What about Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles? What does this all mean for the show and possibility of DVD movies? Or is it in the same boat and wait it out?

  5. Amy I think the only thing you can expect of TSCC will be the second season dvds. That show is done,,,
    And yes TSCC is owned by a different group…

  6. TSCC ended with a bang. That last episode was great. Sad we don’t get to see come back.

    But HEY! Dancing with the Stars and American Idol are back


  7. @ogb

    Ditto…both posts. Agree word for word.

    I hope they get this worked out. I liked the movie, plot holes and all. I like Bale. Premadonna? maybe but I liked him in 3:0 to Yuma.

    I personally like the episode, ‘Self Made Man’ on TTSCC. You can download it in HD from Amazon for $2.99.

  8. Self Made Man was pretty damn good, I agree

    The show sometimes felt “on and off” but for the most part is better than a lot of “popular” tv programming.

    I think Bale proved himself to be a great actor long time ago.

    And it’s interesting because you’ll hear that a DIRECTOR brought out great performances from ACTORS but you’ll never hear that an ACTOR brought out the best out of a DIRECTOR.

  9. TSCC ended great! Too bad it’s toast.

  10. The problem with TSCC is that it was too serialized. Often episodic shows do far better than the serial ones, because it’s like once you miss one episode, everyone after that won’t make sense, and that’s just too much of a commitment to expect from the majority of the viewers. It’s fine with me because I know how to see any episodes I missed but not everyone knows how to or some are just not willing to go through the trouble.

    • From a marketing and post film/tv perspective just because TSCC was “too serialized” doesn’t make it bad, nor unprofitable. In fact, the networks who pick up such a series would be stoked b/se it build better regular viewers (to their advertisers). Another benefit is when the series does finally get canned, the DVD/BlueRay sales are often greater than for episodic runs due to it’s greater storyline and continuity format.

  11. Bring on T% and T6….I want more Terminator.

  12. Bring on T% and T6….I want more Terminator.

  13. I loved Terminator Salvation! I think it is very important that fans see the conclusion to the franchise – we all NEED to see how this story ends.

    How does John Conner ultimately defeat Skynet? What will be in his way? How does his children become important? How does the resistance manage to get their terminators back in time (for example, keeping Skynet advanced enough to take advantage of their time-travel technology, assuming Skynet developed it) and then once this is complete, how do they finally develop a worldwide assault on Skynet (assuming it is a worldwide, overnight assault – but maybe a more long term, gradual dismantling of the Skynet empire, which is why the children are important).

    A bit like Star Wars – although the Sith is defeated in the end, you still have the remains of the Empire to defeat.

    I love the story. And I think the twist of the Marcus character was the cleverest element of the whole series.

    I would not want the rest of the series to be just about explosions or special effects (although they MUST be a factor!), but I want there to be more clever plots like the Marcus character, perhaps this time involving the T-1000s, TX’s or anything else I haven’t thought of.

    I hope John Conner’s ultimate final confrontation will be among the great cinema moments, like Luke VS Vader, or Neo VS Agent Smith, or Frodo VS Gollum, or Batman VS Joker.

    It must be awesome!

    Terminator Infinity

  14. I can understand we are talking about a lot of money with all of this. However, if you think about it, the money is really the issue. Where does that put the ‘fan base’? To me, it puts us on the back burner until all the lawyers get all their tricks worked out and everyone is emotionally, physically and mentally drained and some with their pockets lined or relined. The entertainment industry spends a lot of money up front to entertain… But there is no real guarantee. Seems like some of these people are operating on a assumed guarantee. Everyone involved needs to walk into a room and hash everything out and not be permitted to leave the room until it is all resolved. And hey you lawyers… All your books can be on your laptops, take them with you do use your books as an excuse to keep the litigation going and going and going until the money sounds good for you…