Walking Dead Producer May Soon Own 50% of the Terminator Franchise

As the long-running Terminator film series prepares to release its sixth installment, Terminator: Dark Fate, the ownership of the sci-fi franchise may soon be changing hands following recent legal action by producer and co-creator Gale Anne Hurd.

Hurd has motioned to terminate a 35-year old copyright grant she and co-creator James Cameron made in 1984 with the release of the original film, which would effectively give Hurd 50% ownership of the franchise, sharing the rights with Cameron. Dark Fate studio Skydance Media acquired the Terminator license in 2011 with a competitive bid of $20 million after the commercial underperformance of 2009's Terminator: Salvation. If Hurd's motion is successful, Skydance will lose the rights to the Terminator franchise in November 2020 unless it's able to negotiate an extension to the existing license.

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Hurd, who has served as a producer on The Walking Dead television adaptation and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, since both series' launches, produced and co-wrote the original 1984 Terminator film with her then-husband Cameron, who also directed the first two installments. The franchise's license has changed hands several times since, with Skydance Media producing 2015's Terminator: Genisys and the upcoming Dark Fate and Cameron returning to produce and co-write after spending decades away from the franchise he co-created.

If Hurd's motion is dismissed, Skydance Media will retain the Terminator license and the ability to produce additional installments, though no date for a determination on the motion has been announced publicly at this time.

RELATED: Terminator: Dark Fate Director Admits the Franchise 'Has Been Tainted'

Directed by Tim Miller and produced by James Cameron, Terminator: Dark Fate stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Natalia Reyes and Diego Boneta. The film opens Nov. 1.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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